Writing that connects chemistry and sustainability
The Holme group has been working to help General Chemistry students see connections between chemistry and sustainability fro several years. A key assessment for this activity is a writing assignment where students are expected to write about chemistry and also its connections to sustainability of some topic. Over time, we have been adding supports for students who are engaged in this writing assignment, so this page will present both the nature of the assignments over the years and the ever developing supports we are creating.
Sustainability Connecting Topics
- 2015-2017: Water resources, treatment, pollution
- 2015-2017: Gases and air quality, fossil fuel combustion pollution, climate change
- 2018: Critical materials (including what puts the source at risk)
- 2019: Pharmaceuticals and their life cycles (cradle to grave)
- 2020: (advanced gen chem): Ammonia as an energy carrier
- 2020:(advanced gen chem): Production and uses of reactive ammonia
- 2021 (gen chem 2 - online): Sustainability and concrete production
- 2021(gen chem 1): Water footprint and carbon footprint
- 2022(gen chem 1): Nanoparticles in consumer products and their environmental fate
- 2023(gen chem 2): Carbon capture technology
Supporting Student Writing
This is where we talk about our methods to support student writing about chemistry within the context of sustainability.
Students work with a facilitator in one-on-one sessions, in either virtual or in-person modalities, where they are able to address concerns about writing chemistry in context. They have access to concept mapping applications, like ConceptBoard, to create organized visual concept maps and take notes. These sessions are guided by the students’ questions and aloud thinking and students come out prepared with next steps to write their chemistry paper assignment.
Using chatbot technology as a technology parallel to dialogic conversations, the expansion of the soundboard work focuses on how chatbot can be designed and implemented to aid students in exploring the same questions, concerns, and concepts they may ask. The chatbot is available 24/7 prior to the deadline of the paper to aid students with understanding topical chemistry concepts and sustainability that are components of their chemistry paper.
Click here for more information about chatbots and to find our current chatbot on writing that connects chemistry and sustainability.