A Scientific Content Creator Shares How to Get Your Students Excited About Organic Chemistry

Freya Maria Fitzgerald Milner

I have always loved science and the introspective nature of questioning everything we know about the world. Having been a student of chemistry and human rights law myself and now transitioning into teaching as a Scientific Content Creator for Labster, I understand the challenges that students face when it comes to organic chemistry. However, I also know that with the right approach, we can spark their interest and enthusiasm for this subject. Here are some strategies I've found effective in getting students excited about organic chemistry:

Real-world applications

Firstly, emphasizing the real-world applications of organic chemistry is crucial. We make a point of showing how organic chemistry is intertwined with their everyday lives. In the simulation ‘From Algae to Bioenergy’ students look at the chemistry behind biodiesel production while also learning about the correct experimental procedure. Through this, students learn the real application through Alaskan algae farming which is both engaging and informative!

Hands-on activities

To make the subject more accessible, we incorporate hands-on activities and demonstrations into the simulations. Organic chemistry can be abstract, so engaging students through interactive experiences is essential. Whether it's building models of organic molecules in Organic Chemistry Introduction: Reactivity rules!; or conducting experiments to purify simple compounds in Purification and Separation of a Mixture: Test your analytical chemistry skills, these activities help students visualize and understand the concepts in a tangible way.

Highlighting connections between disciplines

Drawing connections between organic chemistry and other scientific disciplines also sparks excitement among students. We demonstrate how organic chemistry intersects with biochemistry in our biochemistry package or how chemistry intersects in the engineering chemistry course package, as well as others. By highlighting these connections, students can appreciate the broader implications of organic chemistry and see how it contributes to advancements in various scientific fields. This interdisciplinary approach expands their perspectives and ignites their curiosity.

Showcasing diversity

Lastly, showcasing the diversity of organic chemistry is essential. From the intricate structures of simple hydrocarbons to the synthesis of complex natural products, organic chemistry offers a wide array of captivating topics to explore. By presenting these diverse areas of study, students can see the beauty and potential of organic chemistry, and they may even discover their own areas of interest within the field.

So, with a subject as broad and interesting as organic chemistry, we can cultivate a genuine appreciation for the intricacies and significance of it, encouraging our students to become enthusiastic learners in this fascinating field.

Learn more about Labster's Scientific Content Creator, Freya Maria Fitzgerald Milner!
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