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Monday, August 4 • 9:30am - 12:30pm
W53: Learning Chemistry at the Molecular Level with Advanced Visualization and Simulation Techniques (Part 1)

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The arguably biggest problem for student comprehension of chemistry is that molecular-level explanations depend on mental images rather than direct observation. In other words, teachers and students must resort to models in order to rationalize chemical phenomena. Unfortunately, the quality of models found in textbooks, animations, and online learning tools varies greatly. This workshop is about working with computer-based models that not only offer compelling three-dimensional visualization, but that are

1) fundamentally science-based (rather than ad hoc illustrations), and

2) explorable (rather than limited to singular messages).

From the viewpoint of students and teachers, the scientific basis for the models can be a complete black box―all that matters is that a lot of mathematics makes a model behave realistically. The fact that the models are explorable, however, is of direct interest as it allows for

guided inquiry learning in a most natural way. The workshop attendees will address a few topics from the general chemistry curriculum with state-of-the-art software for molecular modeling. The potential pitfalls of using models in those areas of chemistry will also be discussed. Hands-on workshop−please bring your own laptop (Windows or Mac OS X) if you can.


Jurgen Schnitker

Wavefunction Inc.

Monday August 4, 2014 9:30am - 12:30pm
HRY 113