EXPERIENCES WITH MOLECULAR MODELING IN SECONDARY EDUCATION
DSM Netherlands (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Chemistry is often considered as difficult because of its language with complicated formula's and the required spatial imagination. The molecular modeling programme Spartan STudent was developed by Wavefunction and is frequently used in the Netherlands in the Jet-Net DSM programme to ease the understanding of chemistry in secondary education.
Several experiences with the use of Spartan in classroom situations will be discussed. Among them are a) the user friendliness of the programme for teachers and students, b) the treatment of intramolecur forces (VanderWaals forces, hydrogen bonds), and c) the concept of acidity. These chemical concepts are an obliged part of the chemical curriculum in secondary education in the Netherlands.
Generally the user friendliness of the programme was judged as positive albeit that teachers experience a higher barrier for using it as students. The same is also true for dealing with the chemical concepts.
The concept of acidity was particularly interesting because within the programme the concept can be dealt with in two ways, an implicit abstract way, and an explicit way showing acids in the presence of water molecules. It turned out that the explicit way was appreciated most by the students.
Keywords: Molecular modeling, visualisation, chemistry, educational software, experiences.