University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Sharing green chemistry at science teachers’ conference

Professor Jane Wissinger and Richard Harris, an undergraduate chemistry major, recently shared their expertise in green chemistry at the Minnesota Science Teachers Association conference.   

In their presentation, Going Green in the Chemical Sciences Classroom, Wissinger provided specific examples of greener experiments that can replace the hazardous ones that have been used for decades in high school classrooms. These experiments, many developed by the non-profit organization Beyond Benign, address principles such as chemical equilibrium and single and double displacement reactions, and also ensure curriculum mapping.  

Richard, who is planning on obtaining his teaching licensure, explained and demonstrated two experiments on bioplastics from the Center for Sustainable Polymers, and illustrated how they can be used to meet next-generation educational standards related to engineering concepts.  

Approximately 17 teachers attended the session, and the presentation was videotaped to be shared with all of the association’s members. Sponsors included the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Polymers.

Use of starch-iodine and black tea to demonstrate Le Chatelier's Principles using safer reagents.