GCI Nexus Blog - Page 2

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GCI Nexus Blog - Page 2

The Nexus Blog and Newsletter is published by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® to connect and expand the global green chemistry and engineering community. Learn more about us: www.acs.org/gci.
ACSGCI
Honored Contributor

By Julian R. Silverman, Assistant Professor, Department of Science and Math, The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

How can scientists and educators meaningfully connect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the Principles of Green Chemistry? This is a question Jessica D’eon and I tackled when we agreed to create a teaching module on stoichiometry for an introductory chemistry course. Our idea was to have students discuss the human health and environmental impacts of incomplete combustion by explaining and exploring reaction efficiency and yield.

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ACSGCI
Honored Contributor

Contributed by Dr. Mahlet Garedew & Dr. Hanno Erythropel, Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering at Yale University

“I’m pregnant!” After receiving the big news, one of the next questions for those working in chemical laboratories is, “Is it safe for me to continue to work in a lab environment?”  These were the same questions that Ph.D. candidate Mary Kate Lane and Postdoc Dr. Mahlet Garedew from the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale had when they learned they were expecting. In a broader context, these questions are also relevant in the context of gender equality, as studies show that women scientists leave full-time STEM employment positions much more frequently after the birth of their first child than men.

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ACSGCI
Honored Contributor

Learn about the Green Chemistry Commitment, how it evolved, who had signed, and where it's going in the future with Amy Cannon, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Benign.  

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ACSGCI
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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

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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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor
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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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
Honored Contributor

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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