Mastery of core chemistry content is a degree requirement for several STEM majors. Gatekeeper courses, like general and physical chemistry, have a history of weeding out struggling students, and often underrepresented groups underperform. While gatekeeper courses ensure students are prepared for STEM degrees, it is essential they do not create undue obstacles or dampen interest in STEM. This article describes the implementation and evaluation of efforts to infuse polymer science into a two-semester sequence of general and physical chemistry courses. Survey and focus group data revealed positive feedback from students. Also, improved student mastery of polymer concepts and knowledge was demonstrated in pre- and postassessments. Ultimately, these initial efforts provided students with additional foundational skills and increased engagement with chemistry content.
- First-Year Undergraduate/General
- Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives
- Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
- Polymer Chemistry
ASJC Scopus subject areas