A Computational Chemistry Course for Teachers: From Research Laboratories to High-School Chemistry Teaching

Tamar Traube, Ron Blonder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computational chemistry (CC) is an important and essential area within chemical sciences. Over the years, CC has developed rapidly and played a significant role in chemistry research. In addition to the centrality of CC in the chemical sciences, teachers and students should be exposed to contemporary research for many reasons. These reasons include elevating student motivation to study science and engineering and increasing student interest in scientifically oriented careers. For teachers, contemporary research can trigger their professional development and keep them up to date with current research in their teaching field. However, the integration of CC tools within chemistry education can be challenging for both teachers and students. Here we describe a course on CC for high-school teachers. The goal was to introduce the teachers to contemporary CC contents and tools and motivate them to utilize their knowledge in the teaching of chemistry. We describe the course structure and contents that included lectures, hands-on workshop exercises, and assignments. The rationale behind each part of the course is detailed and the workshop instructions that were conducted using the free Avogadro software are completely presented in the Supporting Information. The course evaluation indicated that teachers improved their contemporary CC content knowledge and were satisfied with how the course contributed to their chemistry teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4360-4368
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume100
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Funding

We would like to thank Prof. Koby Levy from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Prof. Hanoch Senderowitz from Bar-Ilan University for their recorded lectures that were integrated into the course. The course was funded by the Israeli Center for Science and Technology Education (MLM), and the Ministry of Education that supported this project through the National Chemistry Teachers’ Center.

FundersFunder number
Israeli Center for Science and Technology Education
MLM
Weizmann Institute of Science
Ministry of Education

    Keywords

    • Computational Chemistry
    • Computer-Based Learning
    • Curriculum
    • High School/Introductory Chemistry
    • Internet/Web-Based Learning

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