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GCI Nexus Blog

The Nexus Newsletter is a bi-monthly newsletter designed to connect the global green chemistry community, share information, and support the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® in its mission: to catalyze and enable the implementation of green and sustainable chemistry and engineering throughout the global chemical enterprise and across the Society.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Kimberly Hazard, Greener Solutions instructor, University of California, Berkeley

The Greener Solutions program at UC Berkeley is a unique and successful program that teaches students applied skills in green chemistry. As a former Greener Solutions student and current co-instructor, I can attest to the program’s pedagogical efficacy and the immense value it provides for students and partners.

Through the program, students have a unique opportunity to work on interdisciplinary teams and partner with companies in a variety of industries trying to identify and evaluate safer alternatives to concerning materials or less sustainable processes. Students who go through this program learn how to apply their academic skills to real sustainability challenges, and often leave inspired to shift their careers in this direction. In addition to providing students with valuable experience, the program also helps build a leadership pipeline for the next generation of sustainability.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Dr. Jonathon Moir, Program Manager, GCTLC, Beyond Benign

Beyond Benign and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (GCI) are excited to announce that after a year of planning, strategy work, and scoping, the technical development of the new Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC) platform is underway! The GCTLC is set to launch in 2023 and will serve as an online clearinghouse of green chemistry education materials, including a searchable library of greener lab experiments, in-class activities, lecture slides, and tutorial videos, among others. The GCTLC will also be a central networking hub where members of the community (including teachers and faculty educators, students, industry stakeholders, and EH&S experts) can collaborate, create and contribute to discussion forums, share resources, give and receive mentorship, post green chemistry jobs and opportunities, and so much more.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communications Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

A growing number of institutions are incorporating green chemistry into classes and labs, but very few currently offer an undergraduate degree in Green Chemistry. The University of Michigan-Flint launched a Green Chemistry major in 2018. Now Widener University in Chester, PA has become the first institution on the east coast to offer a B.S. in Green Chemistry.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Megan Arnett, Ph.D., Executive Director, Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

This past year was marked by transitions for all of us, and this was no less true for the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC). Many of you will be aware of BCGC—a home to green chemistry education, research, and outreach for more than a decade. After six years of exciting and dedicated work, my predecessor Tom McKeag stepped down last year, and in October 2021, I was warmly welcomed as the new Executive Director for the center. It is my honor to be introducing myself to all of you—many of whom have supported and partnered with the BCGC throughout the years. As a scientist, educator and concerned citizen, becoming a part of the BCGC work feels like a homecoming in many ways, and I look forward to guiding it through this next part of the journey.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

The 2020-2021 school year was not an easy one by any means! However, many ACS Student Chapters were able to find ways to continue their activities—and 27 succeeded in still meeting the criteria to receive a Green Chemistry Award. Winning chapters included 21 chapters from the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 6 international student chapters from Nigeria, the U.K., Mexico, India and Costa Rica.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Contributed by Kendra Leahy Denlinger, Teaching Professor at Xavier University; Rebecca Haley, Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-River Falls; and Heather Hopgood, Assistant Professor of Instruction at Ohio University

stereochemistry2.png

 

Working together to connect chemistry

What do women’s health and health inequity have to do with the ability to identify a stereogenic center? This was a question we set out to answer as we began our journey with the Green & Sustainable Chemistry Education Module Development Project. Before diving into how we have attempted to answer this question, let’s go back to a scenario you may have encountered in the classroom.  Every now and then, chemistry educators get the bold student who speaks on behalf of the class: “Why does this matter?” with the accompanying sigh and eye-roll. In the past, we have answered this question with some broader picture context and the obvious “you’ll need it for your next course.” This answer isn’t all that satisfying for us, or the students.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Contributed by Jonathon Moir, Ph.D., Program Manager, Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC), Beyond Benign

 

gctlc.pngAs the 2021/2022 school year begins and many students have returned to in-person classes across the U.S., effective strategies for teaching and learning in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic remain top of mind amongst educators at all levels, from K-12 through to higher education. A priority remains the ability to network and collaborate with other educators (especially when in-person conferences and meetings remain uncertain), to share best practices and resources, to help support each other amid change, and to find ways to stay engaged across geographic and institutional boundaries.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Pilots Needed! Help Enhance the New Green and Sustainable Chemistry Modules

By Aurora Ginzburg, Ph.D., Education Program Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute; and Jennifer MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

 

In 2015 and 2020, the ACS GCI surveyed ACS members in higher education to evaluate the status of

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By David A. Laviska, Assistant Professor at Seton Hall University and Sarah Prescott, Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire, Manchester

It’s not uncommon for academics working in the sciences to feel a sense of isolation (no, this isn’t a reference to the COVID pandemic that has forced an extra measure of isolation on all of us). Depending on individual research interest(s) and prior training, it’s likely that most chemists feel some sense of “working in a vacuum”. How many of us are lucky enough to have close working colleagues who have expertise similar to our own? In most traditional academic settings, each scientist occupies a unique niche and this intellectual siloing can hinder the sharing of ideas and collaborative innovation, both in the research laboratory and in teaching. The latter can be especially challenging since major changes in the classroom (for gateway courses in particular!) tend to be much more broadly “visible” to all the stakeholders in higher education (students, fellow faculty, and administration).

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

As spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere and the vaccine rollout continues, there is much to be hopeful for in the year to come. This spring, it seems the seedlings of change in chemistry education, planted by many over the years, are also beginning to emerge. Here in the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (GCI), our vision of influencing the way students learn chemistry in the undergraduate gateway courses (general and organic chemistry) is taking shape.  Starting in January, we began working with 36 educators from across the U.S. and Canada to develop green and sustainable chemistry (GSC) modules for these courses. Seeing these modules take shape is inspiring and exciting!

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Aurora Ginzburg, Ph.D., Chemistry Education Program Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

I recently read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report, How People Learn II (HPL2), and was struck by the many potential opportunities for education in green and sustainable chemistry to address the report’s findings on improving learning outcomes. Some of these opportunities are summarized below.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

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.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

This January, a group of motivated educators from across the U.S. and Canada began the process of creating education modules to integrate green and sustainable chemistry (GSC) into general and organic chemistry topics. The effort is part of the ACS GCI Educational Module Development Project—a three-year project aimed at providing the resources and training for undergraduate educators to accelerate the adoption of GSC in the classroom. Fifteen teams have been formed to work on 31+ modules covering topics like equilibrium, electrochemistry, chirality, and synthetic design from a green chemistry and systems thinking perspective. We checked in with one team—Prof. Marta Guron of Villanova University and Prof. Lihua Wang of Kettering University—to hear their vision for and experience with the project thus far.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Gabriela Gastelu, Ph.D. student at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, and 2021 Heh-Won Chang Fellow in Green Chemistry

I remember the first time I entered a laboratory as a secondary school student in my home city in Argentina. Its equipment was quite basic; however, I was delighted with all the glass material and the idea of making new things just by mixing components. Yes, I know my idea of a chemist at that time was really simple! But that simple idea inspired me to decide to study chemistry at the university.

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

As we move into our ninth month of social distancing and mask wearing, we look with hope towards the promise of emerging vaccines. We give thanks to the incredible work of teams of scientis

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Green Chemistry Activities for ACS Student Chapters

Hey, undergrads! Looking for some green chemistry activities for your ACS Student Chapter? Great news, we’ve got boatloads full of great activities that can even be done virtually. In particular, the green chemistry activities from past ACS Program-in-a-B

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and Aurora Ginzburg, Education Specialist, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Are you passionate about sustainability? Do you teach a foundational lower-division chemistry course? Are you looki

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
SDG 12:  Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

By David Constable, Ph.D., Scientific Director, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Say you’re in the market for a new article of clothing and you start searching on the internet for what’s available from retailers you have bought from in the past.  Maybe you wa

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

If you missed any of the fantastic chemistry education sessions at the ACS Green Chemistry Institute’s® 24th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Virtual Conference, it’s not too late to go back and review those sessions now.  Several of the technical ses

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Edward Brush, Ph.D.

Bridgewater State University

ebrush@bridgew.edu

 

The world presents us with problems whose complexity and impact we can barely imagine but that we must solve. As educators, our mission is to prepare our students to do exactly that. The in

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Chemists Celebrate Earth Week Educational Resources

Due to COVID-19, the Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) campaign has gone fully digital with instructions for organizing virtual events and an updated suite of educational resources.

Find a Virtual CCEW Event to participate or learn how to plan your own

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute ®

In the last couple of Nexus newsletters, we have shared information about ACS GCI’s efforts to draw connections between Systems Thinking and Chemistry Education, as well as our efforts to

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Systems Thinking & Green Chemistry Video

Although chemistry occurs in systems in nature, most students still learn chemistry in a reductionist manner—looking at the discrete parts without a clear idea how it connects to the whole. Now chemistry educators are starting to integrate the concept of

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

By Jenny MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Here at ACS GCI, ensuring that the next generation of chemists is educated with a green chemistry perspective is one of our strategic priorities. Over the years, ACS GCI has developed and l

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CBriddell
Contributor II
Green Labs: Reducing Chemistry’s Footprint on Campuses (and Beyond)

By Christiana Briddell, Sr. Communications Manager, ACS GCI; Jennifer MacKellar, Program Manager, ACS GCI; Marta Gmurczyk, Safety Portfolio Manager, ACS

Today’s environmental headlines are replete with sustainability topics from climate change to plastics

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II

Each year ACS Student Chapters incorporate green chemistry outreach and activities into their programming in order to receive the Green Chemistry Award. The Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award, created eighteen years ago through a collaboration between

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Setting the Scene: Blooming Green Chemists and the ACS Summer School Experience

By Michelle Muzzio, Graduate Student, Brown University

I never realized how much location could profoundly change an experience until I was walking to class about to learn more about green chemistry from some of the world’s leading experts on the topic, wa

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Celebrating the Winners of the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

The American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) was honored to partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to host the 2019 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards ceremony and reception at the EPA headquarters in Washington D.C. th

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
ACS International Student Chapter Highlight: University of Delhi

Contributed by: Radhika Gupta and Gunjan Arora, Members of ACS International Student Chapter, University of Delhi, India

The ACS International Student Chapter at the University of Delhi in India has been actively involved in organizing several national and

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ACSGCI
Valued Contributor II
Simplifying the Switch to Green Chemistry

Contributed by Derrick Ward, Program Manager, Beyond Benign, and Erika Daley, My Green Lab

Are you looking to integrate green chemistry into teaching labs, but just can’t find time to look for and analyze new experiments? Are you a TA that would like to su

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