Implementing a Student-Designed Green Chemistry Laboratory Project in Organic Chemistry

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Chemistry | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Higher Education | Organic Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


A multiweek organic chemistry laboratory project is described that emphasizes sustainable practices in experimental design. An emphasis on student-driven development of the project is meant to mirror the independent nature of research. Students propose environmentally friendly modifications of several reactions. With instructor feedback, students search for a literature protocol for their most promising reaction. Students follow the procedure as described and also carry out a modified, greener reaction that they have designed on their own, incorporating a modest change in reaction conditions. The exercise concludes with a report focusing on comparative data analysis. This unique approach also focuses on teaching students the important research skills involved in locating, reproducing, and modifying a literature procedure.


DOI: 10.1021/ed5000394