Leslie M. Porter


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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The purpose for this project was to redesign a past General Chemistry Laboratory experiment with emphasis on student learning objectives in support of lecture material. The experiment was first introduced into the second semester CHM124L course in 1997 as “Preparation and Investigation of Salt Solutions”. For the Fall 2016 curriculum, the modified experiment will be conducted in the first semester General Chemistry course CHM123L as “Equilibrium of Salt Solutions”. This experiment was chosen for modification because the concept of equilibrium, especially when applied to pH of salt solutions, is one that many students find difficult to understand. Experiencing the concept in lab is one way for the students to increase their understanding. Our approach with the modification of the experiment was to step back and view the procedure from a first year student’s point of view. To take into account their laboratory skill set as a first semester student and to consider background material they would be exposed to by the time the experiment was conducted. The goal was to create an experiment that lead students through a thought provoking qualitative and quantitative analysis of the subject.

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Course Project

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David W. Johnson, Rochael J. Swavey

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Research exercise: The Development of a First Year Chemistry Laboratory