PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY TOWARDS STRENGTHENING FUTURE CHEMISTS’ AWARENESS OF SUSTAINABILITY: RESEARCH BASED LEARNING
University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The promotion of sustainability, channeling society towards responsible consumption and production is a challenge framed in the Agenda 2030 project, within one of its 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) that are considered essential for economic, ecological and social growth. Specifically, this challenge is included in the SDG number 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), which can be related undoubtedly to chemistry. With this idea in mind, a new working methodology has been developed for an experimental subject of Physical Chemistry for second year chemistry undergraduate students of Chemistry degree.
Looking for the best way to promote qualities and competences closely associated to the professional profile of a chemist of this century, a Research Based Learning strategy is designed and proposed, in which students must face a laboratory experiment as if it was a small research work. Thus, the aim is to promote autonomous learning, develop critical thinking and introduce students to scientific work, among others, without forgetting the promotion of an environmentally friendly scientific activity. Thus, a methodology is proposed in which students must seek information and become aware of the environmental problem of excessive consumption and waste of surfactants (soaps) and plastics, developing an appropriate procedure for monitoring and characterization, without forgetting the basis of the properties to be studied and the detailed analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, of the results. In the learning process, in which lecturers act as guides, the aim is to increase students' motivation as they internalize the necessary knowledge in this area and develop specific and transversal skills. Awareness of the problem posed and the search for more sustainable alternatives are also encouraged.
Keywords: Research Based Learning, Sustainability, development of transversal skills, physical chemistry, critical thinking, autonomous learning.