Contributed by Dr. Jonathon Moir, Program Manager, GCTLC, Beyond Benign
My name is Dr. Jonathon Moir and I am thrilled to be writing to you today as the new Program Manager for the Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC). The GCTLC—an online platform set to launch in 2023—is a joint initiative announced in December by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and Beyond Benign that will help revolutionize the way green chemistry educational resources are shared and further catalyze collaboration, networking and mentorship among educators, students, industry stakeholders and community members.
For more than 20 years, educators at institutions across the U.S. and the world have been increasingly practicing green chemistry in their curricula, creating a grassroots effort that has led to a greater number of students and graduates with the knowledge and tools to create a more sustainable future. But many challenges continue to hinder the adoption of green chemistry more widely, including lack of time and resources, misconceptions, departmental buy-in, crowded curricula, and staying up-to-date on technical knowledge.
To help address these barriers and facilitate the adoption of green chemistry across all levels, the GCTLC will provide an accessible, open and inclusive online hub where users can share and find educational resources related to green chemistry and connect with other members of the community from across the U.S. and the world. By further supporting the existing community of practice with this online platform, our hope is that we can collectively transition to a community of transformation where green chemistry and sustainability as a philosophy is deeply rooted in everything we do, from classrooms and lecture halls to laboratories. (And not just in chemistry, but in engineering and other disciplines as well.)
While we are still in the initial phases of planning out the structure and format of this platform, the team has been busy laying the groundwork for getting the GCTLC up and running in the next few years, and we are excited with the progress so far. Our Leadership Committee—comprised of prominent educators from K-12 and higher education as well as industry leaders and information management experts—held their inaugural virtual meeting in January and their second meeting in March to provide expert advice and consultation on the evolution of the GCTLC. The group will meet regularly throughout the next few years, guiding our process as we bring the platform online.
We also plan on organizing a number of additional focus groups, in-depth meetings, and surveys with many members of the green chemistry education community over the coming months in order to determine the critical core components of an online networking and resource hub, which will ultimately help guide us as we move into the development phase of the platform. We will be bringing on more staff in the coming months as well, including a full-time IT project manager, and solidifying the long-term goals, mission, vision and core values of the platform moving forward.
I cannot begin to express my excitement for this project and the many great things it will bring to the chemistry education community. In the meantime, we welcome comments and feedback from members of the community who can reach out by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any of our social media channels if they would like to share their thoughts as we nurture and grow this project together.
Beyond Benign is a not-for-profit dedicated to developing and disseminating educational resources on green chemistry and sustainable science to empower educators, students and community members to practice sustainability through chemistry.