2022 ACS-CES Award Recipients

Dr. Andrea Hicks

Department of Environmental Sustainability Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Meaningful Sustainability Education through Community Based Learning.

Sustainability is an important yet intentionally nebulous word in its definition. Which in turn makes it challenging to educate students in a meaningful manner. Community based learning, a combination of project based and service learning provides an opportunity to educate the next generation of STEM majors in a meaningful manner. A case study of using community based learning in an engineering focused sustainability course will be presented, including data gathered from knowledge probes and guided reflection. In general, students reported finding a greater meaning to their work, than simply a course project, when working in service of a community partner. And, that taking part in a hand on sustainability experience gave them a deeper understanding of what sustainability really is. This case study illustrates the potential for STEM classes to incorporate meaningful sustainability experiences for students. 


Dr. Alexey Leontyev

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA

Development and assessing the impact of student-generated videos, infographics, and open education resources related to sustainability and green chemistry.

Scaffolded semester-long projects were organized into phases and designed to promote the goals of teaching students about green chemistry and sustainability concepts while simultaneously creating case study videos, infographics, and open educational resources for future students. Learning objectives for these activities are two-fold. The first includes students connecting organic chemistry topics, green chemistry principles, planetary boundaries, and the UN sustainable development goals. The second refers to professional skills such as information literacy, communication, and peer review. Thorough evaluation of the impact of these curriculum innovations on student learning was conducted using high-quality assessment techniques, including sets of multiple-choice questions, student assessment of learning gains, open-ended questions that asked students to explain their reasoning about "greener" chemical reactions, and questionnaires. Overall, positive learning gains on chemistry knowledge and skills were observed and students viewed the projects favorably, with most indicating a desire for similar assignments in future courses.