2014 ACS-CEI Award Recipients

Jack F. Eichler

University of California, Riverside

Connecting Environmental Sustainability to the General Chemistry Curriculum Using Investigative Labs and Problem-based Case Studies

Civic Engagements and Responsibilities), incorporating issues of environmental sustainability into the general chemistry curriculum has become a key component of my work in developing more innovative and engaging classroom experiences. More specifically, I have focused my efforts in two general areas: 1) developing and implementing an investigative lab experience built around the issue of air quality and ground level ozone; and 2) developing and implementing problem-based case studies for large enrollment general chemistry courses that focus on a variety of environmental sustainability issues. These efforts have been successful in engaging students in active learning pedagogies and allowing students to better appreciate the value of chemistry in their everyday lives, particularly how chemistry can be used to address issues related to environmental sustainability.

Andrew B. Greytak

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina

Sustainability in the curriculum of CHEM 112 at USC Columbia: An integrative approach to improving learning outcomes in General Chemistry by incorporating sustainability concepts

Chemistry 112 is the second and final semester of the General Chemistry sequence taken by more than 1200 USC undergraduates each year specializing in science, engineering, and health pre-professional fields. It is regarded as a “difficult course” and many students struggle to pass.

This award will recognize current and planned efforts by the nominee to improve learning outcomes in Chemistry 112 through the incorporation of sustainability-oriented examples, exam problems, and extra credit associated with extracurricular activities. A campus-wide Sustainable Energy Research & Practice Showcase provides one such activity.

This curriculum development effort is one component of a three-pronged program of education and outreach that is designed to help achieve the specific goals of empowering undergraduates outside of the field of chemistry, forging research and educational partnerships with other groups on campus, and improving undergraduate chemistry instruction. These efforts are promoted through a partnership with the Sustainable Carolina program at USC.

Avi Hofstein, Miri Kesner and Yael Shwartz

The Department of Science Teaching, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Incorporation of Sustainability into Chemistry Education: a 25-year-long partnership between chemistry education and Israeli industry

Chemistry education in Israel aims not only at preparing students for an academic career, but also at helping them to become responsible citizens. Thus, for over 25 years, efforts have been made to incorporate industrial and sustainability issues into chemistry education. We developed industrial case studies related to specific industrial plants, which over the years, have been revised to include more emphasis on environmental issues, and pedagogical strategies, such as debates and structured field trips. Also, an internet website provides students with access to up-to-date information on industry, sustainability, and environmental issues.

Recently, a module was developed and implemented in upper secondary classes, consisting of world-wide topics: water quality and global warming. In 2008, we established a National Project "Chemistry, Industry, and the Environment in the eyes of the individual and society" that bridges the gap between formal and informal learning. Research and teachers' professional development programs accompanied all initiatives.

Mageswary Karpudewan

School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. Malaysia

Green Chemistry Incorporated with Sustainable Development Concepts (SDCs) in Chemistry Pre-service Teachers’ Curriculum

As an approach to address Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) green chemistry experiments incorporated with Sustainable Development Concepts (SDCs) have been integrated into teacher education curriculum. Green chemistry incorporated with SDCs which is a laboratory-based pedagogy was employed to educate the student teachers enrolled in the chemistry teaching methods course at the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia since 2008. For this purpose a laboratory manual consists of 27 green chemistry experiments incorporated with SDCs were prepared (Green Chemistry: Approach Addresses Education for Sustainable Development). As a result of the implementation student teachers’ environment value changed towards more environmental. The experienced obtained during the course also improved student teachers’ attitude, motivation and their pro-environmental behaviours. Following the positive findings since 2008 the green chemistry laboratory manual is being used as main text in the chemistry teaching methods course at the School of Educational Studies, USM

Mingming Lu

Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering; University of Cincinnati

Teaching Chemistry for Non-chemistry Majors with Examples in Sustainable Practices

It all started from a university wide workshop on “Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum”. Since 2002, this very workshop has inspired the nominee to actively integrate sustainability into existing courses, develop new interdisciplinary courses, and create a laboratory module tailoring the transesterification chemistry to K7-12 teachers, undergraduate and graduate students. In 2006, another two-day workshop organized by the NSF Center for Sustainable Environment (CSE) provided her with more skills and action. She has developed a course module for Introduction to Environmental Engineering for national dissemination by the CSE library, created an interdisciplinary study abroad course on Sustainable Urbanism and integrated sustainable practices into other courses, such as Atmospheric Chemistry and Monitoring, Principles of Combustion, etc. The making biodiesel from waste feedstocks module serves as a specific example in sustainability for teaching and public outreach activities. Both sustainability principles and chemistry have been customized to the audience.