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Integration of a Water Quality Laboratory Sequence into a Core Chemistry Course

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32995

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32995

Download Count

172

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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Mentis United State Military Academy

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Dr. Beth Mentis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Life Science at the United States Military Academy where she currently teaches General Chemistry. With a background in analytical chemistry, she explores research topics such as utilizing mass spectrometric analysis to explore questions relevant to atmospheric chemistry. Her current research centers on characterizing microbial samples with MALDI-TOF MS.

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Andrew Ross Pfluger United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6960-2075

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Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Pfluger, U.S. Army, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Life Science of the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. He has earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from USMA, a M.S. and Engineer Degree in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He is also a licensed PE in the state of Delaware.

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April Dawn Miller United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0395-9818

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LTC April Miller was commissioned in the United States Army in 2000 and has served in many positions. She obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University, a MS in Environmental Management from Webster University, a MS in Nuclear Engineering from Air Force Institute of Technology and a PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently is an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy.

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Enoch A. Nagelli United States Military Academy Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2629-3174

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Dr. Enoch Nagelli is an Assistant Professor in the Chemical Engineering Program. He teaches core chemical engineering courses. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in August 2014. His Ph.D. dissertation work was on the controlled synthesis, functionalization and assembly of carbon nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion applications. Following his doctoral studies, Dr. Nagelli worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Electrochemical Engineering and Energy Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University. In this role, he worked on the performance diagnostics of flowable slurry electrodes for redox flow batteries and electrochemical flow capacitors. His research interest includes the fundamental understanding of the influence of surface chemistry of carbon nanomaterials in electrochemical applications, flowable slurry electrodes, development of flow-assisted electrochemical energy systems (fuel cells, flow batteries, flow capacitors), and mass/charge transport phenomena and reaction kinetics in electrochemical systems. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the Electrochemical Society.

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Abstract

According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, less than 40% of students entering college intending to major in STEM-related fields graduate with a STEM degree. High-performing students frequently credit uninspiring introductory courses for their change in direction. Introductory courses in our department include two semesters of general chemistry. General Chemistry II is a core chemistry course required for Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Kinesiology, Life Science, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Mechanical Engineering majors; students preparing for medical school; or as a science elective. The roughly 200 students enrolled each semester are divided into sections of approximately 20 students taught by 6 faculty members. To improve student engagement in General Chemistry II, a research inspired, water quality themed laboratory sequence was implemented beginning in the Spring 2017 semester. The water quality laboratory sequence consists of four introductory skill-building labs followed by three labs during which students tour a water treatment facility, then collect and analyze water samples of their choice. Students collect samples from water sources near the student living area, to include treated tap water, an estuary, and a reservoir. Examples of water quality analyses students complete include titrimetric methods, which are applied to measure parameters such as total hardness and total alkalinity; and UV-Vis spectroscopy to measure dissolved iron. The goal of the new laboratory sequence was to implement the following key elements: (1) support content goals of the course; (2) be hands-on; (3) balance expository and inquiry-based instruction; (4) be feasible to implement with available resources; and (5) promote a constructive affective learning environment. The first four elements listed above were assessed based on alignment with course learning objectives and American Chemical Society guidelines and analysis of the data generated by students in the laboratory. The final element was assessed based on feedback from students. More than half of the students surveyed each semester reported the lab sequence increased their level of interest in pursuing research in a STEM field. These preliminary findings suggest the water quality themed lab sequence was successful in improving student engagement and maintaining or increasing level of interest in STEM-related fields.

Mentis, E., & Pfluger, A. R., & Miller, A. D., & Nagelli, E. A. (2019, June), Integration of a Water Quality Laboratory Sequence into a Core Chemistry Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32995

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