Chemistry laboratory curriculum development (sustainability-focused) has involved six undergraduate (between U0 and U3, including one volunteer that was subsequently compensated) research students that have, only rarely with the aid of postdoctoral researchers/graduate students in the Friščić and Lumb groups, participated in five projects of improving the sustainable nature of the CHEM 392 teaching laboratory.
The students disseminated their work at two poster presentations (at McGill University and at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, USA), and are still actively involved in improving the proposed research exercises and writing up their results in the form of scientific publications (3 publications are currently pending from this work).
The already implemented upgraded laboratory exercise stemming from this work have affected at least 45 U2 students involved in the CHEM 392 course in 2012. The same is expected from the two exercises that will be implemented for the Winter term 2013. These exercises are now helping to bridge the artificial gap between classical chemical synthesis, Green Chemistry and sustainability-related studies, as well as merge together the traditionally separate branches of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. Most importantly, the implemented and planned exercises are increasing the awareness of undergraduate students enrolled in the CHEM 392 course of the energy- and solvent-associated impact (cost, environment) of chemical synthetic procedures, while linking the faculty research to undergraduate curriculum development. Through the orchestration of experiments, this work has lead to a unified approach to exercise development that uses the products of one exercise as the focus of another. This provides inherent benefits to the sustainability of CHEM 392.
For further information conerning this project, or to get in touch with its members, please contact the krista [dot] houser [at] mcgill [dot] ca (SPF Administration Team.)