Session S41d (Wednesday, 2pm, Wartik 110)

P784: Learning organic chemistry in context: Backwards learning

Mark M Green (Polytechnic Institute of New York University, USA)

A successful, sophomore level, rigorous organic chemistry course, taken by both chemical engineering and science students, has been developed at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in which the principles of the science are discovered by the students in the complex phenomena arising from the application of these principles. The two term course is designed so that the fundamental concepts, reactions and mechanisms of organic chemistry are woven into a story-telling historical approach with a content ranging from industrially and biologically interesting polymers, to a disease of infants, to in vivo catabolic and anabolic processes, until finally demonstrating the nature of synthetic work and the discovery of many principles and reactions, using Woodward’s and Corey’s syntheses of cholesterol and prostaglandin. A text, “Organic Chemistry Principles in Context,” has developed from the experience of taking this approach, which could be altered for AP high school use.


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