> > The Diels-Alder reaction opens up a lot of opportunity to teach integrated chemical safety.
I believe that you are correct, but the concepts you listed sound to me (as someone unfamiliar with this reaction and its place in the organic chemistry Parthenon) like a full semester's course rather than a single lab session. I have been reviewing some of the chemistry education literature around what students learn from lab experiences and it is much less than faculty aspire to. It's still not clear to me where the safety concepts you list fit best into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum, but I believe that it is up to the person teaching the course to decide which and how much content can be fit into a particular lab lesson.
Interestingly, a related issue is discussed in an opinion piece in the latest issue of Education in Chemistry from the Royal Society of Chemistry entitled at "Skills or knowledge?" at
It discusses the challenge of addressing both skills and knowledge within the already busy undergraduate chemistry curriculum and with the wide variety of preparation among the students taking the classes. The article increased my appreciation (again) for the challenge that chemistry faculty face in developing curriculum for a very diverse population of students.
My thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts about greener and safer organic chemistry opportunities.
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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