University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Go to chemistry home page.


July workshop focuses on inquiry-driven labs

Associate Professor Jane Wissinger, Department of Chemistry organic laboratory director, is co-leading a workshop entitled, Teaching Guided-Inquiry Organic Chemistry Labs, from Sunday, July 10, through Friday, July 15. She is working with Jerry Mohrig, chemistry professor emeritus at Carleton College, and Tammy Davidson, Ph.D., senior lecturer and organic chemistry laboratory program coordinator for the Department of Chemistry at the University of Florida.

This workshop is sponsored by Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops & and Communities of Scholars (cCWCS) and is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES) program.

Workshop materials and activities will address how a structured approach to inquiry-driven experiments can support effective learning for both undergraduate students and graduate-student teaching assistants (TAs). Additionally, the roles laboratory TAs play in using guided-inquiry experiments will be discussed.

Participants will get hands-on experience with guided-inquiry experiments and participate in the practicalities of transforming traditional laboratory experiments, which are often focused on techniques and simple synthetic methodology, into guided-inquiry experiments, which provide students with opportunities to critically evaluate their experimental data.

This workshop also includes two seminars, which are open to the public:

  • Jerry Mohrig, Teaching Inquiry-Driven Organic Chemistry Labs, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, July 11, in 231 Smith Hall
  • Tammy Davidson, Rewards and Challenges of Teaching Guided-Inquiry Labs with Graduate Student Teaching Assistants, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 11, in 231 Smith Hall

The workshop has drawn the interest of 26 participants from throughout the Unites States, representing 7 major universities, 12 four-year colleges, and 7 community colleges.