New Research Stream in Chemistry 125/126
Environmental Chemistry at the U-M Biological Station
“Authentic Research” is being incorporated into the introductory laboratories of Chemistry and Biology through funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant in the College of Literature, Science and Arts at the University of Michigan. Faculty research projects are being taken into the teaching laboratories moving away from “the cookbook” lab experience. Students will learn same lab techniques encountered in the standard lab sections, but in the context of faculty led research projects. Creating a research based laboratory experience will give students the opportunity to get a hands on experience in how real science is conducted.
Currently there are four research streams that will replace the normal laboratory experience. The first research stream with Prof. Thomas Schmidt in the introductory Biology Lab (Bio 173), focuses on understanding the human microbiome, specifically the students’ own microbiome by characterizing the bacteria, measuring activity, and identifying how the composition of the microbiome can be managed. This research stream started with only 2 sections (approx. 40 students) in Winter 2015 and in Fall 2015 increased to 4 sections (approx. 80 students). The second to fourth research streams are in the introductory Chemistry Lab (Chem 125/126). The second research stream with Associate Prof. Stephen Maldonado will focus on novel materials to increase efficiency of solar cell technology. Students in this lab will fabricate perovskite solar cells and test why this material produces higher energy conversion. The third research stream will investigate snow chemistry with Assistant Prof. Kerri Pratt. Students will measure the chemical composition of snow and determine the effect of road salting and vehicle composition of snow collected in Michigan. The fourth research stream is held during the spring/summer term at the UM-Biological station. It gives students a hands-on experience in field work with a project focused on Storm Water Pollution.
Currently more research streams are being added to the curriculum to give students a larger selection of research based course sections to choose from.