Guided inquiry experiments are being developed for introductory general and organic chemistry courses that use NMR spectroscopic analysis as an integrated hands-on method that provides evidence essential for reaching conclusions from the experiments. The project includes converting a Varian EM-360 magnet into an Anasazi 60 MHz Eft NMR (FT NMR) spectrometer. With students able to run their own samples and analyze their own data, this represents a significant improvement for those who have not previously had the benefit of hands-on access to NMR instrumentation. This applies to participating high school students taking advanced chemistry as well. Improving conceptual learning in the laboratory through development of guided inquiry experiments integrating NMR analysis is a major goal of this proposal. The project is evaluating changes in conceptual learning, critical reasoning skills, student interest and motivation.
Guided inquiry experiments are providing educators with options for collaborative relationships among college professors, high school teachers and students. The teachers, who are already familiar with guided inquiry learning, are passing on their acquired skills and knowledge from this project to their pre-collegiate students. The project is demonstrating that access to NMR instrumentation better suits the learning styles of many students, where doing hands-on NMR spectroscopy is enhancing their appreciation for the importance of spectroscopic analysis as a scientific method.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0736941. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.