We hardly ever think of how many chemical inventions and innovations shape our life. In the modules of our chemistry course we will provide the theory that is necessary to understand different chemical principles and concepts: What is nanotechnology and how does it apply to chemistry? Does it allow more speed with less power? How does chemistry make our life easier through transportation? How has it increased athletes performance in “technology driven” sports? What is the chemistry behind the production and processing of food?
This experience will shed light on the many careers dependent on knowledge of this versatile field.
Chemistry is everywhere in our daily life and there are many jobs chemistry graduates do. Around 540,000 students study chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth science in the EU. Chemistry graduates work as analysts, healthcare scientists, clinical chemists, forensic scientists, nanotechnologists, pharmacologists and toxicologists among others. Jobs for chemists, other scientists and engineers grew by 7% in the past five years. Jobs for technicians in the field grew by 2%. Overall, they account for 7% of all jobs in the EU. As of 2016, around 15 million European science and engineering workers are employed. They work in a variety of sectors, many of which related with chemical industry, such as agrochemicals, metallurgical, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plastics and polymers. Many also work in professional services, utilities, and in the education systems. In the next years, jobs for chemistry scientists, other researchers and engineers will increase by 13%, and jobs for science and engineering technicians will increase by 2%.
RRI has been introduced in the chemistry course contents following:
Chemistry modules were chosen in a way that they cover topics from daily life and also include attractive experiments. Familiar topics motivate students to listen the theoretical lectures and at the same time they are eager to start with the experiments, which shows them that gained knowledge is also applicable in everyday life.
During the pilot phase, a number of schools in Slovenia have included chemistry experiments, specially in smaller towns that rarely plan experiments in their school programme. According to that, our programme is improving the quality of their lessons and hopefully encourage some students to consider the STEM disciplines also in their future.
More information on RRI 10 Ideas: https://zenodo.org/record/1303805#.W1H_03jdhF0
Learning via Experiments
It is important for students to not only get theoretical background of the topic, but also to gain practical experiences. Prepared experiments are practically oriented and related to everyday life. Special attention was given to the materials needed for the implementation of chemical programmes. Most programmes contain materials that are used in everyday life, such as: sunscreen, ALU-foil, salt, baking soda, toothpaste, etc. Some experiments will be implemented as a group activity and some experiments can be done as an individual activity.