2 Apr 2008

Main group element paper and presentation

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College
Course Level: 
Topics Covered: 
Students research an application of one of the main group elements and prepare a paper, a short in-class presentation, and a test question. This provides the class with a survey of the main group elements and their practical applications. This assignment addresses two learning goals: 1) to study the chemistry of the main group elements and 2) to learn about the role inorganic chemistry plays in other disciplines of chemistry. In addition, students work on the goal of improving writing and oral communication skills. It also allows students to bring some of their individual interests to the project.
Microsoft Office document icon maingroup.doc36 KB
Learning Goals: 

Students will learn one application of each of the elements covered by the student presentations and why the chemistry of that element is suited for that application.

Students will learn more in-depth information about one of the main group elements.

Students will develop their oral presentation skills.

Implementation Notes: 
Students have looked at chlorine and fluorine in drinking water (including a trip to the water treatment plant), neon in neon lights, III/IV semiconductors, ITO coatings, etc.
Time Required: 
Depends on class size.
Evaluation Methods: 
I grade the paper and evaluate the oral presentation. The students provide peer evaluations of the oral presentation.
Evaluation Results: 
This is a fun way to survey the chemistry of the main group elements. Most students engage with some depth, even going out into the community to interview scientists about their work. The activity needs some sort of "closure" to integrate what they are learning. I'm interested in ideas for this!
Creative Commons License: 
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