Report from the ACS Meeting in San Francisco - ACS Publications

this symposium is a warning to those who want to go on- line in the classroom. Many of ... The Graduate Student Fair is another of the activities with...
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Chemical Education Today

Report from the ACS Meeting in San Francisco Chemistry Teaching and the WWW

Photo by Maureen Scharberg

The Student Program For the almost 2,000 undergraduate students at the meeting, this was an exciting and fulfilling activity. Jiwon Kim, the new Student Affiliates person at ACS, was really busy with details and needless to say, the attendance at the student research posters was excellent. Some of the old hands involved with the Student Affiliates program commented that these posters are getting so good that they rival those in the traditional poster sessions. Some of this is due to the fact that the Student Affiliates Office now divides papers into categories so that professionals in an area can easily go to the posters of their choice to evaluate the student work. The Graduate Student Fair is another of the activities within the Student Program that are watched by chemistry faculty at many research institutions. Many of the attendees at the Fair are sophomores and juniors looking for a direction in chemistry, and their Student Affiliate advisors have suggested that going to the meeting and attend-

For established research institutions, recruitment of students at the Fair may not meet with great success. Perhaps this is because students already of know about established programs and are looking for alternatives.

For smaller or specialized programs, success at attracting students appears to be better. These programs are gathering name recognition that is difficult to achieve in any other way.

The Fair is much like a college fair for high school students. Don’t send your introverted research star to this operation.

Students are looking for particular programs. The buzz words are very definitely biochemistry, environmental chemistry, and materials science.

One-Liners Judging from the level of interest, guided design in the laboratory, course, and curriculum is a very attractive idea. Attendance at the session New Traditions: A Guided Inquiry Approach to General Chemistry Curriculum overflowed into the hallway so that even though I chair the Division’s program committee I was not able to elbow my way into the meeting room! However, I heard reports that James Spencer’s approach to the complete guided design general William Kieffer, former editor of the Jourchemistry course benal and Joseph Bunnett, former editor of ing used at Franklin Accounts of Chemical Reseach enjoying and Marshall College a moment together at the banquet cruise. was strongly received. The awards symposium was instructive, inspiring, and, in the case of Robert Becker’s presentation, explosive. The two Dreyfus Award winners, Mary Thompson, for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, and Billy Joe Evans, for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, were not very complimentary about institutional activities now being conducted to help in these activities. In particular, Evans assessed many of the mentoring programs now in place as “just advising in disguise”. To paraphrase him: Your impact is most effective when you get into the boat with the student and start off together on this tumultuous journey. Photo by Tom Wildeman

Papers presented here show that developments are occurring so rapidly and the wealth of information on the Web is so vast that the issue is not creation of new materials but rather integration of existing materials into student activities. However, the amount of work necessary to mount this symposium is a warning to those who want to go online in the classroom. Many of the papers were given using simulated rather than real hot-links. Mary Freilich of the University of Memphis had an interesting system for her presentation, where the hot-link button and a simulated button for the downloaded material were side-by-side. The choice could be made of which way to go. Koni Stone of California State University at Stanislaus presented interesting projects in biochemistry and instrumental analysis, in which students produced a website review journal. The lure of instant publication of their papers was quite an incentive for better writing. For those teaching physical or analytical chemistry, the websites of Theresa Zielinski of Niagara University and Brian Tissue of Virginia Tech are valuable resources. However, Jimmy Reeves of North Carolina, Wilmington, commented that the full power of WWW technology is at least one large step away—until Java is fully established, more complex interactive learning on the WWW cannot easily take place. (The URL sites for all these talks are listed in the ab- Ludy Mayer in the basement switch stracts that appear in the room of the Crowne Plaza Parc Division’s Spring 1997 Hotel helping install and test phone CHED Newsletter.) lines for the WWW symposium.

ing the Fair is a good way to resolve some graduate school questions. At this meeting the Fair was held simultaneously with the research posters, and this proximity helped immensely in attracting students to the Fair booths. Upon interviewing faculty participants at the conclusion of the Fair, these rough generalizations can be made:

Vol. 74 No. 6 June 1997 • Journal of Chemical Education