Service-learning college courses and service-learning components of traditional courses combine discipline-specific learning objectives with service activities in the community. Chemistry Discovery is a one-unit service-learning course focused on chemistry outreach at the University of Arizona. In a collaborative learning environment, the enrolled undergraduate and graduate students design and produce a series of workshops for local middle-school students visiting the university campus. The course offers a framework for outreach efforts for which students receive academic credit while also enjoying the freedom to select and optimize hands-on educational modules. A content emphasis is placed on the chemistry of everyday objects and on its illustration in accurate terms that are also appropriate for a middle-school audience. The second half of this semester-long project is dedicated to the presentation of workshops, which occur during class time and on the university campus. In the end-of-semester reflection on the experience, the student presenters consistently indicate that their science communication skills are enhanced by the program and that they have a positive impact on the audience on the basis of formal and informal feedback from our visitors. Chemistry Discovery provides a sustainable curricular platform for students and faculty interested in outreach to step into the leadership role of science communicators and to inspire younger students to pursue scientific knowledge.
- Collaborative / Cooperative Learning
- Elementary/Middle School Science
- Graduate Education/Research
- Public Understanding/Outreach
- Upper-Division Undergraduate
ASJC Scopus subject areas