Presentation on October 31st* "Maintaining High Level Laboratory Experiences Using an Apprenticeship Model of Instruction"
Event Date:31 October 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Where:320 Whitmore Lab
Jennifer Tan is a 5th year graduate student in chemistry focusing on physical chemistry. The running title of her PhD work is: Interaction of luminescent guest molecules and quantum dots with host media: liquids, molecular solids and polymers. She also has a strong interest in Chemical Education (her career interest is to teach chemistry at a liberal arts college). She is a teaching assistant for the introductory physical chemistry lab as well as the advanced physical chemistry lab. Jennifer combines her research and teaching interests by creating innovative and challenging laboratory projects for a 400-level chemistry laboratory course from her thesis work. This is how she contributes in the apprenticeship model of instruction which her thesis adviser, Dr. Bratoljub Milosavljevic, uses to prepare graduate students for teaching careers as well as to provide the undergrads with better quality teaching.
The instructional model that is being tested for implementation in teaching experimental physical chemistry at the senior level is one of apprenticeship. A typical teaching assistant in CHEM457 or Chem 459W is not able to fully assist students in research level projects due to his or her lack of knowledge, experience, and sometimes interest. Research grade equipment is utilized in these 400-level lab projects and time must be spent becoming familiar with all aspects of the research to guide and motivate the students. One solution that is being tested is to incorporate components of an in-progress working Ph.D. dissertation into the senior laboratory courses in the form of a micro-research experience as in the case of CHEM457, (5 week duration) or a mini-research experience as in the case of CHEM459W, (1 semester duration). This talk will introduce the structure of the courses, and describe the role of the research component in the curricula. A summary of the special projects planned for the Fall 2013 semester of CHEM 457 will be presented, highlighting the project topics and the equipment/experimental techniques that will be taught.