Session S72 (Thursday, 9:30am, Thomas 216)

P887: Benefits and challanges of a special section of general chemistry lab for chemistry majors

Guy Anderson (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

One of the challenges of general chemistry at large, public universities is the heterogeneity of the students.  The students have a wide range of backgrounds, abilities, interests, and goals.  It is impossible to design a general lab curriculum that meets all of their needs.  For this reason, Penn State has started offering a variety of “specialty sections” of general chemistry lab.  One example is a special section of General Chemistry I lab that is designed for chemistry majors.  This course attempts to expose students to some of the traditional general chemistry material, plus some of what they will see in organic, physical, and analytical labs if they continue as chemistry majors.  It has required team projects in addition to some traditional experiments.  It also involves Lab Assistants (LAs) who are former students of this class.  They design, teach, and grade one experiment.

This course has been run three times.  Some details of our successes and struggles will be presented.

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