Contact Information

  • Amber Wise, Ph.D.
  • Lecture and Instructor
  • Chemistry
  • UC Berkeley
  • Berkeley, California
(510) 408 - 8581

The Chemistry All Around Us: A Final Project Outline for Chemistry

Course Module (PDF)

Author Contact:


Data Entry in ProgressThis describes a final project that consists of a poster session and a written report on a student-chosen topic related to chemistry in everyday life. The students are asked to describe the chemistry of something in the world around us, relate it to at least one chemical concept we learned about in class and then include a description of the "life cycle" of their topic. Additionally, the students are asked to describe which of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry apply or how they might be used in their topic's case. They then present a poster in a traditional "poster session" format and finally, write a scientific-style report on their findings with references.

This exercise is written for an undergraduate general chemistry course, but could be modified for other classes, including engineering, sustainability or environmental studies courses. Students benefit by making a simple scientific poster and discussing it with others and also by practicing both their scientific writing and research skills beyond simple lab reports. The link to the Course Module includes student handouts and grading rubric.

Summary prepared March 2012 by Dr. Amber Wise at the UC Berkeley.


Wise, A. The Chemistry All Around Us: A Final Project Outline for Chemistry, Chemistry, UC Berkeley, 2012

Category Descriptors

Green Chemistry Principles
  • Analyze in Real-Time to Prevent Pollution
  • Avoid Chemical Derivatives
  • Design for Degradation
  • Design Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
  • Design Safer Chemicals and Products
  • Increase Energy Efficiency
  • Maximize Atom Economy
  • Minimize the Potential for Accidents
  • Prevent Waste
  • Use Catalysts
  • Use Renewable Feedstocks
  • Use Safer Solvents/Reaction Conditions
Chemistry Subdiscipline
  • Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary
Target Audience
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Original Contributions - unpublished