Grant awarded to the Chemistry Department to develop case studies

Katie Koproski

A $12,500 grant has been awarded to the Chemistry Department in the school of Health Sciences at Quinnipiac University.
The grant was awarded by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc. of New York City, and will be used in a program titled Web-Based Case Studies and Tutorials for use across the chemistry curriculum.
The idea is to use the money to link chemistry to everyday events.
“First we are going to look at sports fitness and chemistry,” said Andri L. Smith, assistant professor of chemistry. “We were inspired by the Olympics.”
First they are going to look at performance enhancing drugs and how they act in the athlete’s body and the impact they have on their performance.
Then they will look at the different fabrics skiers wear, and the materials used to make skis, to research how they work. By researching a topic that students are interested in, such as sports, they will begin to see that chemistry can be linked to many different areas.
The research and presentations will be web-based, interactive exercises, used for online education and as a supplement in the classroom.
“We are not trying to replace existing programs such as textbooks,” said Smith. “This is just another interesting way to teach.”
Smith and her colleagues, Susan Henderson, professor of chemistry, and Carol Fenn, associate professor of chemistry, will not only use the grant to develop case studies, but will also purchase computer equipment and hire two students to do research.
Smith believes that this will have an impact on chemistry courses, and that by getting students interested in chemistry, they will begin to see the relevance to their everyday lives.