Session S35 (Monday, 2pm, Life Sciences 013)

P300: Unifying general chemistry topics to enable a student to master resonance in organic chemistry

Manisha Nigam (University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown, USA)

Mastering the complex concept of Resonance is a key building block to a student’s understanding of acids and bases, stabilization of reactive intermediates, and all aromatic reactions of benzene and its derivatives in Organic Chemistry.  However, the teaching and learning of Resonance in General Chemistry courses is piece-meal. For example, in the first semester General Chemistry course, key resonance-related topics such as Lewis Structure, Formal Charge, and Hybridization are introduced to students as individual topics; without correlating them to Resonance in any way. This places the student at a distinct disadvantage in sophomore level Organic Chemistry courses, where they are challenged to correlate these topics and fully master the concept of Resonance. This presentation will illustrate practical ideas for teaching Resonance as a unified concept using key topics such as Lewis Structure, Formal Charge, and Hybridization together early on in an Organic Chemistry course.


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