Contributed by Catherine Rawlins, Chair of the Northeastern Section American Chemical Society - Younger Chemists Committee (NSYCC)
Over the years of my involvement in the NSYCC, our group and our goals have grown considerably. We continuously expand activities to include more hands-on and impactful programming, and recently considered the topic of green chemistry. It is still a focus area many people are not familiar with, especially with how it can be implemented in the lab or classroom. Accordingly, we developed a 1.5-hour workshop as part of a larger green chemistry event hosted by Pfizer. The workshop will focus on green chemistry education for educators. The goal is to develop techniques to better engage their students with chemistry, human health and the environment through real-world applications in the chemical industry.
We were fortunate to receive a Local Section Sustainability Programming Grant from the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement to help make this event possible. We are also going to collaborate with Pfizer to take the event to the next level. Pfizer already has a workshop and curriculum established which covers key concepts in green chemistry as it applies to drug development. Raymond Borg, a long time board member, volunteer and green chemistry enthusiast, will co-facilitate this workshop with his advisor Dr. Jonathan Rochford and the UMass-Boston Sustainable Scientists Group. Their efforts in fostering this partnership will make for a successful event!
This half-day workshop will introduce participants to the pharmaceutical industry and give insight into how drugs are discovered and developed. Participants will learn how to determine greener alternatives to solvents in the lab, and work with real case studies to determine the different synthetic routes to create a drug. It will also cover biocatalysis, flow and transition metal catalysis with a discussion of how to reduce the degree of hazardous materials and streamline these processes. One of the founders of Beyond Benign, Dr. John Warner, will be speaking on the challenges and benefits of educating educators about green chemistry. The remainder of the workshop will focus on an easily implementable green chemistry lesson plans for the teachers to implement in the classroom.
The workshop is free and will be held on Saturday, November 5th at UMass-Boston’s brand new Integrated Science Complex building. Pfizer will provide breakfast and lunch along with helpful educational materials for attendee usage. It is our hope that we can spread this knowledge to a wide range of chemists and science educators to promote greener and cleaner methods in our field.
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