Rob et al,.I like your tounge-in-cheek reply: You train a new bunch of Evel K. clones and turn them loose on the roads instead of training young folks to drive safely, and whadda you get? Buncha moronic dysfunctional so-and-so's.It is true that you have to know something to learn something. I remember how we had to learn all the gas laws in USAF Flight Surgeon's School and you had better know them to take care of patients with dysbaric syndromes.But total emphasis on math etc.before students get to see what good can be done in the lab is contraproductive.Geez, in my day in Medical School, we had to put up with 2 years of rote memorery basic science before being allowed to see a patient, and seeing patients was why we went there in the first place. University of Hawaii Medical School got it right a few years later: All students first were trained to me EMT's and then Paramedics, and then they had the rest. Much better and all of them were better physicians for it.Knowing what good learning is can produce better learning.2 cents worth.Alan H.Hall, M.D.Medical ToxicolostClinicalAssistant ProfessorColorado School of Public Health--- This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety. For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.orgOn Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 12:10 PM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ilpi.com> wrote:--- This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety. For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.orgI think without a doubt the big turnoff is all the math. First year chemistry is full of a lot of gas law equations, acid dissociation constants, etc. It's there for two reasons. First, these are all fundamental concepts that form a foundation - you have to learn the alphabet to know a language. The second is that it's easy to test because it's all math questions, and keep in mind that as a standard service course you have hundreds if not thousands of students each semester that you need to have an easy way of giving homework, tests etc. P-Chem (which is most of freshman chemistry) rocks for those kinds of situations. In fact, based on personal studies and those of my colleagues, the single biggest predictor of success in freshman chemistry is the ACT math score. Very strong correlation. And on top of that, with ACS curriculum standards, you end up cramming every possible thing into the course, and it proceeds at a rapid fire pace. Fall behind, and you're toast.But along the lines of what Ralph brought up, you have to be a really dynamic and/or engaging teacher to explain to the audience why each of these occasionally mind-numbing topics has relevance to Real Life=E2=84=A2 and to let them know that you as a scientist, do not sit around in a lab all day determining solubility constant of lead iodide etc. A companion to that is that many high school teachers weren't formally trained as chemists and may not understand that very well themselves. This subset is insecure in their own knowledge/mastery and it telegraphs through. They end up teaching a fear of chemistry. And for minorities it's even worse, the lack of role models runs all the way from kindergarten up to the PhD, narrowing massively the whole way.Rob TorekiBTW, I want to recast my early analogy on this topict from making meth to driver's ed. Driver's ed is really boring - we could spice it up a lot if we could do stunts like they do in the movies - that would interest kids a whole bunch more. Why don't we do that? Yeah, that's the ticket-.=============================
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On Jan 24, 2017, at 7:36 AM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU> wrote:I never had one of my chemist colleagues tell me they were attracted to a career in chemistry because of a pyrotechnic demonstration in middle school, high school or college.
Another aspect of this question is how many students are turned off by the hazardous nature of working with spectacular chemistry? Is this possibly part of the reason that less than 20% of the students who take first year chemistry go on to take more advanced chemistry courses?
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
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