Organizer: Carl Aronson (Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow, USA)
Presider: Carl Aronson (Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow, USA)
Many undergraduates taking organic and physical chemistry courses appear reticent to immerse themselves in intricate subjects. The subjects include chemical reaction mechanistic pathways involving electron pushing, bond scission/formation thermodynamics as well as their interplay with both kinetics and spectroscopy. In addition, many student responses indicate a disconnection with organic and physical chemistry laboratory experiments. Difficulties include visualizing at the molecular level, reasoning the critical mechanistic reaction steps and/or focusing the mathematical derivation onto the question of interest. Nevertheless, an ability to reason three dimensional molecular geometry, reaction mechanisms, transition states, kinetics and quantum mathematics plays an important role in fundamentally understanding chemistry. Reasoning herein aids in circumventing undesirable formulaic thinking and mere memorization. These hurdles in chemical education to undergraduate students have directly prompted the use of computational and molecular modeling techniques. This symposium will detail current pedagogical molecular visualization and computational chemistry modeling techniques used across the undergraduate organic and physical chemistry curricula.