244th ACS National Meeting, Philadelphia PA August 19 – 23, 2012

ACS 2012

Promoting learning through authentic and relevant research experiences in environmental monitoring and remediation across ten chemistry and biology laboratory courses (17700)

ACS Meeting Name

Fall 2012 Philadelphia ACS National Meeting (August 19-23, 2012)


Stephen Cessna


Division of Chemical Education (CHED)

Syposium/Session Title

(WED-AM) NSF Catalyzed Innovations in the Undergraduate Curriculum

Session Date and Time

Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 8:30 AM

Lecture ID



We have introduced several multi-week mini-research projects to several chemistry and biology courses. Each project engages students in authentic research in environmental analysis and remediation, from copper remediation in General Chemistry to agricultural soils analysis in Sustainable Agriculture. Our hope is that participation in these projects will promote student learning beyond content knowledge, including gaining a better understanding of the nature of science, and enhancing critical thinking and scientific communication skills. For each project, students produce an authentic research product: a research paper, oral report, or poster. We have developed a rubric bank to enhance learning and assess the development of non-content skills and knowledge. We have found significant improvement in nature of science understanding. Students and participating teachers also report improved scientific communication skills and enhanced quality of student research products. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the NSF (DUE 0837578) for this project.

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