Chemistry 180

Chemistry 180: Chemistry Outreach

In Chem 180, taught by professor Ken Lyle, Duke students develop the knowledge and skills associated with learning and presenting chemistry demonstrations.

They also examine and reflect upon societal issues relevant to conducting a science outreach program, such as:

  • the importance of a scientifically literate society
  • the decline in performance by American children in science and math
  • the decline in numbers of American students who choose to pursue a career in science
  • the under-representation of certain groups in scientific fields
  • the potential impact chemistry outreach programs can have in fostering positive attitudes towards science among school children, college students, and professional scientists

 Why is this a service-learning course?

Because the students don't just learn these things through readings, class discussions, lectures, and labs—they learn them while developing, practicing, and performing chemistry demonstrations all around the Triangle!

  • Each student contributes at least 20 hours of service in the form of chemistry demonstrations.
  • The chemistry demonstrations are integrally related to the academic objectives of the course and meet a need in the community (Dr. Lyle receives more requests for demonstrations than he can accommodate!).
  • Through journals and class discussions, the students reflect on their service experiences in relationship to course readings and academic content, as well as on the ethical and civic issues that arise through their service.

The Facts

Each semester, up to 16 students complete hundreds of hours of service by conducting demonstrations with community partners such as the following:

  • American Chemical Society
  • Bethesda Christian Academy
  • BOOST (Building Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology)
  • Burton Elementary School
  • Central Park Charter School
  • Club Elementary School
  • Coats Elementary School (Coats, NC)
  • Creekside Elementary
  • Culbreth Middle School (Chapel Hill)
  • Duke Alumni Association
  • Durham Nativity School
  • Durham PAGE (Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Education)
  • E. K. Powe Elementary
  • Easley Elementary School
  • Endeavor Charter School (Raleigh)
  • FEMMES (Duke student initiative)
  • Forest Hill Elementary (Morgantown, NC)
  • Future Is Now (Duke student initiative)
  • Githens Middle School
  • Hawfields Middle School (Alamance County)
  • Hillandale Elementary
  • Hope Valley Elementary
  • LEAP (Launch into Education About Pharmacology)
  • Magnolia Tree Project (Duke student initiative)
  • Maureen Joy Charter School
  • McDowell Middle Schools (McDowell, NC)
  • Meredith College (Raleigh)
  • Museum of Life and Science
  • NC Central University
  • NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh)
  • Roxboro Elementary School (Roxboro, NC)
  • Science U
  • St. Mary's School (Raleigh)
  • Techtronics
  • Unihealth Post-Acute Care
  • Wakefield Middle School (Raleigh)
  • Watts Elementary School
  • Wiley Elementary (Raleigh)

Dr. Lyle was the faculty recipient of the Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award  in the spring of 2011.
For more information about the course, contact professor Lyle.