The Chemical Educator
ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)
Abstract Volume 7
Issue 6 (2002) pp 376-378
Student-Designed Multistep Synthesis Projects in Organic Chemistry
Kate J. Graham,* Chris P. Schaller, Brian J. Johnson, and John B. Klassen
Chemistry Department, College of Saint Benedict/Saint Johnís University,
St. Joseph, MN 56374
Published online: 27 September 2002
Abstract. The incorporation
of research projects into undergraduate chemistry courses provides a
perspective that is fundamentally unavailable in most laboratory experiences.
While independent, multistep synthesis projects in organic chemistry
have been reported previously, most efforts have been directed at relatively
restricted, closely guided research plans with modest student participation
in the experimental design. We have implemented a more open-ended synthesis
project, limited principally by cost, safety and availability of materials.
In the second semester of the sophomore organic sequence, students develop
multiple drafts of a plan for a three-to-four-step synthesis. Subsequently,
students obtain their own literature protocols for the individual steps.
The synthesis is performed over three four-hour laboratory periods.
The students conclude this project with a poster presentation of the
results at the end of the semester. Evaluation of the studentsí work
focuses not only on the successful synthesis of the target but also
on planning, troubleshooting, purification, and spectral analysis.
Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; natural product isolation; pulegone; 2D-NMR; herbal medicine
(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Supporting Materials:Student Handout (Zip format 46 KB) 10.1007/s00897020612b
Issue date: December