Chemistry Education Project Wins Grant
Three chemistry faculty members from SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College will collaborate on a new, grant-funded project to get students excited about chemistry by connecting their work in the classroom with everyday life.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $199,777 Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM Program grant to the Research Foundation of SUNY on behalf of SUNY Oneonta in support of “CLICK: Color and Light to Improve Chemical Knowledge.” The project will be directed by Dr. Jacqueline Bennett (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Maurice Odago (Co-Principal Investigator) of SUNY Oneonta’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, and Dr. John Dudek (Co-Principal Investigator) of Hartwick College.
“CLICK is exciting because it connects chemistry lab work to everyday life experiences in engaging, novel ways,” said SUNY Oneonta Provost Maria Thompson. “Dr. Bennett’s approach will enhance students’ experiences and give them deeper appreciation of the sciences, making them better prepared for advanced degrees or professional careers based in the STEM disciplines. SUNY Oneonta is gratified to receive NSF funding in recognition of our drive toward excellence in teaching, learning and research, which is at the center of our mission.”
The proposal was among only approximately 125 awarded grants in response to 1,050 proposals reviewed.
“Chemistry is all around us, not confined to researchers in a lab,” said Bennett. “Through CLICK, our team has set out to demonstrate how chemistry is everywhere. Our goal is simple: to link chemistry to what students do on a day-to-day basis. This, in turn, will make the process of discovery more interesting and meaningful, giving students better command of the subject matter.”
Students will explore connections between everyday life experiences and subject matter learned in chemistry courses through a series of increasingly complex activities, ranging from using cameras and hand-held UV lamps to explore fluorescent and phosphorescent properties of common household materials to designing experiments to investigate their surroundings.
CLICK activities will also be shared with younger students through informal science education programs conducted at SUNY Oneonta’s Science Discovery Center in collaboration with aspiring science teachers enrolled in the college’s Noyce Scholars Program.