Using the Chemistry of Pharmaceuticals to Introduce Sustainable Chemistry and Systems Thinking in General Chemistry

2020-01-24T21:28:27Z (GMT) by Tom Holme
Introductory college chemistry courses are required by a wide range of science curricula. This fact has tended to frame the courses as places where core, fundamental ideas are taught, so that a foundation of knowledge might be called upon by students when they are in subsequent courses. Unfortunately, the preponderance of compartmentalized fundamental topics bolsters learning that has challenges in terms of transfer of knowledge to other science settings. One method that has been proposed to help alleviate this concern is to incorporate systems thinking and rich contexts that directly connect foundational chemistry ideas to larger systems. One area that shows strong potential for such efforts is the science of pharmaceuticals. Adding examples related to the chemistry of drugs, both within the large lecture setting of general chemistry and within smaller discussion groups. The role of example problems, student writing projects and group construction of systems thinking related visualizations of the context of pharmaceutical chemistry are reported.