Pratibha Varma-Nelson, Department of Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N St Louis, S214-G, Chicago, IL 60625-4699, Thomas R Weaver, Department Chemistry, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N St Louis Ave, S212-E, Chicago, IL 60625-4699, and Roger, W. Gilman, Department of Philosophy, Northeastern Illinois University, Science Building, S-158, 5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, 5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625-4699.
ABSTRACT: At NEIU all senior Chemistry majors take the Chemistry Capstone Seminar. In this course they conduct a literature search on the topic of their choice, prepare and present a seminar to their peers and lead them in a discussion. Green chemistry has been a good theme for this course. It brings together the skills the students have learned in their other chemistry classes and information they can glean from the literature with the communication, critical thinking, and ethical skills they need to be a professional chemist. The initial four weeks of the course are used to introduce elements of ethics and to study how these apply to research in science. This is followed by approximately 5 class periods dedicated to hosting lectures by invited university and industrial scientists in order to expose students to model communication skills and behavior. The remainder of the semester is dedicated to individual student presentations.