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ERIC Number: EJ941009
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Kitchen Is Your Laboratory: A Research-Based Term-Paper Assignment in a Science Writing Course
Jones, Clinton D.
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n8 p1062-1068 Aug 2011
A term-paper assignment that encompasses the full scientific method has been developed and implemented in an undergraduate science writing and communication course with no laboratory component. Students are required to develop their own hypotheses, design experiments to test their hypotheses, and collect empirical data as independent scientists in their personal laboratories--their kitchens. Motivating students to use food preparation as a chemical experiment does more than just provide them with adequate data for their term papers. Students develop a new awareness for experimental variables, acquire experimental planning and development expertise, and gain an enhanced set of independent thinking skills. This inquiry-based assignment requires students to treat edible ingredients as a chemicals and kitchen equipment as scientific instrumentation. Students are required to provide correctly formatted scientific terms for all consumables and equipment, and they are encouraged to bring experimental results into the classroom to gather statistical taste-test data. Students submit their term papers as communication-type manuscripts, formatted using the communication-style template for "The Journal of the American Chemical Society". The details and outcomes of this assignment are described along with sample excerpts from student papers over the past few years. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A