Session S12 (Sunday, 2pm, Thomas 218)

P69: Chem-Math project

Cary Kilner (University of New Hampshire, USA)

Some life-science students say “I hate math” or “I can’t do math.” They may also say “I love science” and they desperately want to work with plants or animals. However they must pass general chemistry first. Our students come from very diverse high schools with highly variable chemistry programs. Some students are sincerely at-risk; others are merely under-prepared. The former need remediation and the latter an intervention. Mathematics is a big piece of the picture. What particular “math” is causing them trouble and how can we help them? In a five-year recitation program I isolated troublesome mathematics skills for students that need to be reviewed. Students must also be taught how they are applied in the physical sciences, because chem-math is not the formal mathematics that students learn in math classes. With correct drill and practice and appropriate materials, in conjunction with lecture, we can get these students on track.

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