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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 23 (2018) pp 174-178

Chemical Synthesis of Oligonucleotides: A Capstone Class Project for the Second Year Organic Chemistry Sequence

David C. Lever

Department of Chemistry, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH 43015,
Received May 30, 2018. Accepted July 24, 2018.

Published: 12 August 2018

Abstract. A set of student group presentations on the chemical synthesis of oligonucleotides has been used as a capstone project for the standard sophomore organic sequence. The project has several attractive features, including serving as a review of important reaction types, as a bridge to the biochemistry course, and as a way to help students transition from relying on secondary sources to reading the primary literature. The author has used this project successfully in classes ranging from 11 to 35 students. Depending on class size between four and ten groups may be assigned, requiring one or two weeks of class time at the end of the semester.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; oligonucleotides; collaborative/cooperative learning; communication/writing; enrichment/review materials; applications of chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (624 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Evaluation forms (…asm1.pdf), Sample Grading Documents (…asm2.pdf), Review of Individual Group Topics (…asm3.pdf), Sample final exam questions (…asm4.pdf). (1.10 MB)

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