There are many misconceptions about what green chemistry is...how and by whom will new/emerging resources for educators be evaluated and standardized?
Hi! I really appreciate this initiative. As part of this, some graduate students and I at the University of Cincinnati are currently developing an online undergraduate green chemistry course. Going through this process, we have had many questions. One of which is what kind of references to use. Should the community of green chemistry educators be using a specific book to guide the class? Or is finding primary literature more important? We ended up deciding on a combination of both, but I was just wondering if you have an opinion one way or the other.
I really liked the video! Very interesting. I'm wondering about the students who are demanding to be taught about green chemistry. Is there any evidence for that that could be cited? I think it could be really helpful to convince current faculty members that this is important if we could prove that undergraduate students want to learn these kinds of things. In my experience, academia has been the most challenging area as far as moving green chemistry forward, and evidence like this could be very helpful!
Public policy should always be informed by science and scientists, while scientists should be aware of the impacts that policy decisions have on their work and industries. At this point, it’s not clear that either is true most of the time, and hence getting students from the STEM disciplines engaged with policy makers would be a good thing. This will be true for students from any STEM discipline, not just the green chemistry community. As such, the key is a more broad-based education for students from all disciplines.
We absolutely should be engaging K-12 students! Information regarding green chemistry needs to be age appropriate; how can students understand green chemistry if they do not yet know what chemistry is? The Next Generation Science Standards provide flexibility in introducing concepts such as green chemistry, given their integration of disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and scientific practices.
There have been a number of efforts to develop and implement new educational materials. There have also been programs to try to incentivize adoption of green chemistry. What makes this approach different is that it is bringing together a broad range of stakeholders to define the long-term needs to implement green chemistry, understand the gaps that prevent us from doing that today, and set forth a set of prioritized steps that the educational community can pursue to infuse green chemistry into the future of the chemical enterprise.
The roadmap will define core competencies and learning outcomes needed to advance the infusion of green chemistry in academia and industry. Curriculum developers and educators will address these competencies and outcomes from a variety of perspectives. They will produce new educational materials, curricula and workshops to help other educators adopt and adapt these in their home departments and classes. The use of learning outcomes will provide some common metrics for success while allowing individual faculty a great deal of flexibility in implementing material in their courses.
The competencies are intended as part of a framework that extends well into the future. In some sense they are aspirational. Thus, progress will be measured more in terms of steps toward those competencies. In roadmap such as this one, we expect to see important progress right away. In fact, defining and prioritizing the gaps are both important steps. The roadmap is intended to define the next steps well into the future.