Chemistry Outreach: Sharing Chemistry with the Community
This course provides students with the opportunity to share their interest and enthusiasm for science, specifically chemistry, with the general populace residing within the communities surrounding Duke University. The primary focus of the chemistry outreach program is on K-12 level students, however, presentations for tertiary level students and for the general public are also included in the program. This curriculum is designed to prepare students for staging chemistry outreach presentations.
Students will learn to perform numerous chemical demonstrations. There are several knowledge skills associated with learning a chemical demonstration that will be addressed in this course and that students will be expected to develop:
- Develop a demonstration that is appropriate for the audience and the venue.
- Demostrate in-depth understanding of the relevant chemistry.
- Understand practical knowledge of the chemicals used and produced with an emphasis on safe handling and disposal.
- Master the mechanics of performing the demonstration.
- Understand age-appropriate pedagogical strategies that promote understanding of the chemical concepts.
- Develop evaluative techniques to assess the effectiveness of the presentation both during and afterwards.
This course includes a rigorous service-learning experience. Students are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours service in the community staging live chemical demonstration programs. The majority of the venues will be primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institutions. Other venues in the past have included public libraries and museums, and the North Carolina State Fair. Students will develop and demonstrate skill in reflecting critically on issues that arise in their service learning experiences, including ethical issues, public policy questions as they relate to the teaching of science, and issues surrounding civic responsibility and what it means to be a citizen.
VIDEO: Kenneth Lyle’s CHEM 180 class at an annual celebration where they used “magic” (i.e. chemistry) to make ice cream in 90 seconds!