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ERIC Number: EJ1046240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Island Explorations: Discovering Effects of Environmental Research-Based Lab Activities on Analytical Chemistry Students
Tomasik, Janice Hall; LeCaptain, Dale; Murphy, Sarah; Martin, Mary; Knight, Rachel M.; Harke, Maureen A.; Burke, Ryan; Beck, Kara; Acevedo-Polakovich, I. David
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n11 p1887-1894 Nov 2014
Motivating students in analytical chemistry can be challenging, in part because of the complexity and breadth of topics involved. Some methods that help encourage students and convey real-world relevancy of the material include incorporating environmental issues, research-based lab experiments, and service learning projects. In this paper, we describe an approach that combines all three of these methods by integrating environmental research-based activities into the second-year undergraduate analytical chemistry course. We discuss the development, implementation, and preliminary evaluation of the research-based labs employed during the new summer analytical chemistry course. Students perform environmental investigations of sites on Beaver Island, Michigan, and prepare reports to contribute to an ongoing research project analyzing these locations that began in the 1970s. Preliminary impacts on analytical students were examined using pre- and postsurveys, including the Chemistry Attitudes and Experiences Questionnaire, and a new survey and questionnaires developed for this work. Responses and grades were compared across three summers, and to those from students in the traditional analytical course. Results suggest that the research-based activities positively impacted aspects of student attitudes, their perceptions of how chemistry knowledge influences understanding of environment issues, and their perceptions of how analytical techniques are applied in the real-world. Students indicated that the new labs provided real-world applications of class content, helped them learn new concepts and gain skills working with others, and helped them feel more confident conducting chemistry-related experiments.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0942131