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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 22 (2017) pp 104-107

Bridging the Gap Between Technique-Building Experiments and Independent Research Projects: A One-Step Synthesis Project for First-Semester Organic Chemistry Students

Mary Robert Garrett* and Matthew J. Saderholm

Department of Chemistry, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky 40404, USA,
Received March 22, 2017. Accepted May 18, 2017.

Published: 12 June 2017

Abstract. A one-step mini-synthesis project has been adopted in the first semester of organic chemistry laboratory to bridge the gap between refining experimental techniques and proposing and executing a two-step synthetic sequence. For this three-week project students—a) modify a previously attempted one-step synthesis experiment to a substrate of their choosing in a formal project proposal; b) conduct two or three trials of the experiment; and c) analyze their results via 1H and 13C NMR and infrared spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. Students report their results in a formal laboratory paper in ACS style as well as a PowerPoint presentation.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (168 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

An example first-semester organic chemistry course syllabus with mini-synthesis project handout can be found in the Supporting Materials. Also included is the follow-up second-semester organic chemistry synthesis project handout. (22 KB)

The Chemical Educator 1996-2017