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ERIC Number: EJ1175860
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Polar Plunge: Semester-Long Snow Chemistry Research in the General Chemistry Laboratory
May, N. W.; McNamara, S. M.; Wang, S.; Kolesar, K. R.; Vernon, J.; Wolfe, J. P.; Goldberg, D.; Pratt, K. A.
Journal of Chemical Education, v95 n4 p543-552 Apr 2018
An introductory general chemistry laboratory course was developed to provide an authentic research experience in environmental chemistry. First- and second-year students learned general chemistry concepts and laboratory skills in the context of snow chemistry while participating in the course-based undergraduate research experience. Students were guided through all steps of the research process, including research question development, data collection and processing, interpretation of results in the context of scientific literature, and both written and oral presentations. A key component of the course was an individual laboratory experiment in which snow samples from the Arctic were analyzed for pH and ion content. Assessment of the course via pre- and postcourse surveys indicated that students, the majority of whom were women, experienced greater gains in confidence of research skills and general attitudes toward chemistry as compared to the traditional general chemistry laboratory course. This course represents a novel integration of environmental chemistry research into an introductory level chemistry laboratory course, and this approach has significant potential to increase student engagement in the sciences.
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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A