Case-Study General Chemistry Curriculum Supplements

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Instructors/Faculty Information        

Your students arrive in your chemistry class with an enormous diversity of background.  What if the instructional material teaching the concepts of chemistry linked to many of their common experiences?

Wouldn't it become easier to make an impact, to have active learning, showing how chemistry impacts the mainstream of our lives? units are freely available for your use.  They link chemical concepts taught in General Chemistry to responsible decision making in our society. 

The cases provide a ready resource of capsules of knowledge that challenge and entertain your students.  They provide you with a continuing, thematic source of auxiliary material to supplement your instruction.

Cases Available:

Alcohol, Chemistry and You
Nuclear Chemistry and the Community
Cisplatin and Cancer
Refrigerants for the 21st Century
Drug Pathways and Chemical Concepts
Fuels and Society a. Chemistry and History of Automotive Fuels
Fuels and Society b. Sixty Years of Tetraethyllead
Fuels and Society c. How Lead was Finally Removed from Gasoline

What is availability?

How do I use

What is ChemCases Pedagogy?

How do Integrate into the chemistry concepts in the curriculum?


  What is
  • is a web-based resource of curriculum supplements for teaching the second semester general chemistry course.

    Each case study features a number of the basic principles covered in a traditional general chemistry curriculum. We use these concepts to address the decisions that influence development of successful consumer, agricultural and pharmaceutical products.

General Chemistry Topics Taught
in the Second Semester

 1. Properties of Solutions
 2. Chemical Equilibrium
 3. Acids and Bases
 4. Salts in Water
 5. Thermodynamics
 6. Electrochemistry
 7. Kinetics
 8. Main Group Elements, Groups 1-4
 9. Main Group Elements, Groups 5-8
10. The d-Block Elements
11. Nuclear Chemistry
12. Carbon-based materials

  • Decisions Affecting Innovation
  • Structure-property relationships
  • Environmental constraints
  • Toxicology issues
  • Patent rights
  • Economic considerations
  • Competition in the marketplace
  • Social and cultural diversity

Why ChemCases?

ChemCases provide immediate relevancy -- an instant linkage between familiar products and events and the chemistry underlying their existence.  ChemCases explain the benign and explore the controversial, raising our science of chemistry into the mainstream of the flow of decision making.

1. Students come to ChemCases from everywhere. Many of them struggle to squeeze education into a fully committed life of work and family.

2. They demand a curriculum that adds meaning to their lives now; they are impatient with any content that fails to deliver an immediate impact.

3. Chemistry must reach a diverse student population, a population bombarded with the intellectual and sensual imagery of our culture

4. Students will move on to a seemingly unlimited inventory of other educational offerings if chemistry fails to catch their immediate attention.

5. provides a foundation for learning chemical science through its links to familiar products and events.

How do ChemCases Educate?

  • ChemCase pedagogy includes:
    • 1. Case-based content in which students are instroduced to real products and events. ChemCases link product development, the underlying chemistry, and the decisions faced by developers as the product was established and maintained;

      2. A concept-based process that is ideally suited for electronic presentation. ChemCases are based on concept maps -- the expression of ideas linked by their relationship to each other. The concepts in turn generate unique, self-contained case capsules;

      3. An increasing cognitive demand requiring the student to move beyond simply knowing and understanding chemistry. The capsules introduce chemical facts and event history at the beginning of the case. ChemCases apply the science to problems of development, then analyze and evaluate chemistry and its role in the problems and opportunities in the events that follow. As the case flows toward its conclusion, the documents become more complex, less unequivocal. Students must understand the knowledge, then apply it and, finally, work to evaluate conflicting and contradictory data to respond to a Case Discussion unit; and

      4. A  promise or covenant between student, instructor and author that patient, daily attention to the curriculum will result in a successful conclusion.

  About is a series of curriculum units that link responsible decision making in product development with chemical principles taught in General Chemistry. 

We expect curriculum supplements will lead interested students toward the sciences, medicine, pharmacy and engineering by:

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Developing Knowledge of how the tools of chemistry are used in the service of society

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Comprehension of the conflicting information necessary to move an idea  to the marketplace

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Application of this information to show how chemical principles are used to make decisions

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Evaluation of the data to synthesize solutions to technical and non technical challenges

t_logo.gif (12525 bytes) is a National Science Foundation supported curriculum development project. 

© 2001 Kennesaw State University.
Principal Investigator
Laurence Peterson; Project Director Matthew Hermes.

NSF Grant DUE-9652889