Sustainable Chemistry Teaching Center
Through a grant from the Dreyfus Foundation, the Chemistry Department at Stony Brook University has developed and piloted a series of Sustainable/Green Chemistry lab experiences for high school students who have completed one year of chemistry and are taking their second year of chemistry, i.e., AP Chemistry or IB chemistry. (Some of the activities are appropriate for AP Environmental Science classes.) Activities address the development of benign chemical processes (green chemistry), chemistry of alternative energy production, and the chemistry of environmental degradation. In each lab, students will have the opportunity to learn about sustainable chemistry and they will perform experiments that introduce advanced chemistry techniques and work with equipment that is generally only available in a college setting. Each session will include discussion about the chemistry content and the broader implications of the lab activity for global sustainability.
- Synthesis of Biodegradable Polymer and Chemical Recycling of PETE
- Preparation and Use of Dye Sensitized Photovoltaic Cells (can only accommodate one class per date)
- Interaction of Acid Rain with Minerals (also good for AP Environmental Science class)
- Photocatalysis for Water Purification
- Synthesis of Biodiesel
- Green Synthesis: Suzuki Coupling in Aqueous Solution
Detailed descriptions can be found below, including prerequisite knowledge and lab content.
Dr. Kate Aubrecht
, Assistant Professor, Chemistry Department, Stony Brook University.
Program is administered by the Institute for STEM Education.
Each lab will take about 5 hours (approximately 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM, including a break for lunch).
Two classes can be accommodated each day (Maximum class size is 24 students; 2 classes can be accommodated for each date). Sessions are offered on Fridays.
Please contact the I-STEM office to schedule.
Newly renovated chemistry laboratories in the Chemistry Building, Stony Brook University.
- These labs are targeted to AP and IB Chemistry courses. Please refer to the "Laboratory Pre-Requisites and Content" section below for information on expected prior knowledge for each lab. AP Environmental Science courses are welcome to participate in the acid rain lab, though some relevant chemistry topics should be introduced in class prior to the visit to SBU.
- Students are required to wear approved safety goggles, lab apron, socks and closed shoes. These must be supplied by the student or their school.
- Maximum class size is 24 students; 2 classes can be accommodated for each date
- Cost: $27 per student
To schedule your class please call (631-632-9750) or e-mail istem @stonybrook.edu
Laboratory Pre-Requisites and Content
Synthesis of Biodegradable Polymer and Chemical Recycling of PETE
Pre-requisite concepts: stoichiometry
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: polymers, repeat units, line-angle organic structures, functional groups, IR spectroscopy
Connections to sustainability: renewable feedstocks, biodegradability, design of materials "cradle to cradle"
Preparation and Use of Dye Sensitized Photovoltaic Cells
Pre-requisite concepts: electromagnetic spectrum; relationship between wavelength, frequency, and energy
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: semiconductors, doping, how photovoltaic cells work
Connections to sustainability: issues in broader adoption of solar energy
Interaction of Acid Rain with Minerals
Pre-requisite concepts: acids and bases, pH scale, strong and weak acids
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: titrations, neutralization reactions, metal ion solubility, comparison of total acid and dissociated acid
Connections to sustainability: sources and impacts of acid rain, ocean acidification, mitigation efforts
Photocatalysis for Water Purification
Pre-requisite concepts: molarity, some kinetics
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: UV-visible spectroscopy, kinetics- determination of reaction order, semiconductors, photodegradation
Connections to sustainability: methods of water purification
Use of X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry to Analyze Soil and Consumer Products for Metals
Pre-requisite concepts: electromagnetic spectrum, atomic structure
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: X-ray fluorescence spectrometry works, X-ray safety, sampling
Connections to sustainability: sources and impacts of heavy metal pollution
Synthesis of Biodiesel
Pre-requisite concepts: stoichiometry, acids and bases, titration
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: line-angle organic structures, functional groups, IR spectroscopy, hydrogen bonding and water solubility
Connections to sustainability: sources of biofuels and analysis of how green they really are
Green Synthesis: Suzuki Coupling in Aqueous Solution
Pre-requisite concepts: stoichiometry, polar and non-polar molecules
Chemistry concepts introduced/stressed: line-angle organic structures, functional groups, thin layer chromatography, catalysis, recrystallization, green chemistry
Connections to sustainability: environmentally benign synthesis- what can chemists and engineers do differently to make materials and pharmaceuticals greener
Please direct any questions to Dr. Kate Aubrecht ( firstname.lastname@example.org)