Thursday, November 5, 2009: 4:00 PM
Charolais (Camino Real Hotel)
In my teaching experience with chemical engineering students, I observed that they have difficulties identifying organic chemistry functional groups. As a consequence it was a challenge to communicate the correct names of organics substances that the students study in their courses. As an example, in polymer class, most of the students were unable to identify the difference between a polyether and a polyester and, most of the time, they could not associate the polymer’s configuration with the monomers from which the macromolecules originated. As a possible solution to this problem I designed the Octachem model.
The Octachem model is a three dimensional interactive toy used to prompt high school and college students to apply organic chemistry nomenclature rules. Through several cooperative groups activities, the students learn and practice the concept of functional groups, compound families, and structure properties relations. The Octachem model is an amusing didactic tool, a physical model each student can used in class and at home. Students can practice the chemical nomenclature rules so they can recognize the configurations of many simple organic compounds.