Incorporating Original Research into Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum
Incorporating original research into undergraduate chemistry courses is still in infancy despite the fact that it has a great potential to promote the 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Integrating research into classroom teaching also expected to stir deep learning through inquiry as well as leading to better student engagement. Within the context of this project, we develop and test original research projects suitable for undergraduate teaching at various levels. One such project was applied in a first semester physical chemistry course in Fall 2017. Besides longer-term benefits described above, the original research incorporated in the classroom sparked an immediate interest in pursuing further research in one of the students. Also, we report the challenges such as finding a suitable research problem, adjusting the difficulty and dividing the work evenly among students. Currently, we are in collaboration or looking for collaborating with faculty in science, math and computer fields to develop similar original research to be incorporated in their classrooms.