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I was impressed by green chemistry the very first time I was introduced to it in 2001 by Dr. Mary Kirchhoff at the American Chemical Society National Spring meeting. I was so captivated by it that right after this, I began working with undergraduate students on research to develop manuals that used greener chemicals and methods while still teaching the traditional material typically covered.
As the research progressed, I gained a desire to not only develop greener experiments, but also introduce students to green chemistry in a tangible way that challenges them to embrace its vision. I hope that students will become captivated by it like I am as they realize green chemistry is a new way of actually doing chemistry.
I want them to grasp that it requires creativity, innovation, and ingenuity to design novel ways to create and synthesize products and to implement processes that will eliminate or greatly reduce the environmental impact, and to be challenged by this. It was with these goals in mind that the Green Chemistry Laboratory Manual for General Chemistry was created.
To realize these goals, green chemistry principles are discussed in the introductory material and applied to the experiments that will be performed. After they have completed the procedure and analyzed their results, students are challenged in a Think Green inquiry section to consider what principles of green chemistry are positively impacted and to research particular relevant topics.
Often in this section they are encouraged to develop a method based on what they learned and then to try their ideas. At the end of each chapter is the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge section. From this, students are able to learn about how the green chemistry principles are actually applied in our world.
Students are asked to look up a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award that relates to what was studied in the chapter and summarize what was accomplished to receive this award. But why was the general chemistry laboratory chosen to introduce students to green chemistry principles in this way? The general chemistry laboratory is an excellent place to inspire students to learn to think green.
Many of these students will continue on in science or engineering professions and work in these areas to contribute to society. Teaching them to learn to apply the principles of green chemistry at the start of their college science education will allow them more time to firmly establish a foundation in the principles of green chemistry that they can later use in their future careers.
Download Green Chemistry Laboratory Manual for General Chemistry by Sally A. Henrie easily in PDF format for free.