Experiential Learning - Service Learning - Community Connections

Analytical Chemistry and Environmental chemistry are ideal places for Chemistry students to interface with the community to learn all aspects of the analytical process by doing it.

Presentations on Service Learning by David Henderson


FACSS Meeting October 14, 2002  Providence, RI


David E. Henderson, Janet F. Morrison, Chemistry Department, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 06106

 The best way to learn Analytical Chemistry is to do Analytical Chemistry, and that means solving analytical problems from problem definition to final report. Based on this idea, project experiments have been a fixture in analytical and instrumental courses at Trinity College for over 20 years. In the past decade, the decision was made to apply the resources of the students in the analytical courses to solving problems in the local neighborhood through service learning. This presentation describes some examples of these projects, including a multi-year river water study, alcohol analysis done for a neighborhood group, and a study of the safety of playground equipment for a local elementary school. The advantages of service learning and some of the difficulties encountered will be discussed.                                 

 Power Point presentation (pdf format - Requires Acrobat Reader)


ACS Northeast Regional Meeting - June 2000  University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

THE NEIGHBORHOOD AS A LABORATORY - TEACHING ANALYTICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY.  David E. Henderson, Chemistry Department, Hebe Guardiola-Diaz, Biology Department, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 06106

     The Environmental Associates summer project at Trinity is an example of how much students can learn and the ways in which they can contribute to the community while they learn. Using phyto-remediation, the students removed the lead from an abandoned commercial site. Students did EPA standard methods for soil analysis and demonstrated the success of the phyto-remediation to the community. Smaller scale projects within courses offer similar benefits of the chance to do real science and to see the broad scope of environmental analysis. Project experiments in analytical and environmental chemistry have been used from freshman to senior level courses. In all cases, these projects offer several advantages over conventional labs. They provide experience of the entire analysis process from problem definition with an “end user” of the information to formal reporting of results.

Power Point presentation (pdf format)