Using Physical Chemistry Laboratory to Improve High School Teaching and Undergraduate Learning
Chemistry (12) This project attacks two parallel goals involving science education. Laser-based state-of-the-art physical chemistry laboratory experiments are being adapted from articles in standard journals. In addition, new experiments are being developed in the general areas of spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, photochemistry and kinetics. The result is a product which will allow faculty at other institutions to set up turn-key labs even if experience is lacking in these important areas. This project also introduces undergraduate science students to modern techniques they will encounter in graduate school and the work place. The areas addressed in this project are currently underrepresented in modern physical chemistry instructional laboratories. The second major goal is to bring high school teachers currently teaching in the Pacific Northwest states into the new lab for two weeks in the summer to improve their knowledge and skills teaching laboratory science. The teachers will receive lectures and hands on training using the newest techniques and equipment, while developing the procedures for the new undergraduate physical chemistry labs. This exposure will present the high school teachers with new knowledge, and allows them to make actual measurements with advanced equipment and learn new lab skills while helping develop the new lab procedures. This project will improve the educational infrastructure in the Northwest as both goals are met and will also provide college and university faculty around the country with a prescription for building modern physical chemistry loabs at their institutions.