Structured study groups (SSGs) for Chemistry 210 are supplemental working sections of ~12-18 students that meet with an upper level undergraduate student leader for two hours each week and grant honors credit for the course. Weekly assignments will be given and corrected by the undergraduate leaders. Any student who wishes to earn honors credit for Chem 210 must participate in an SSG.
All Chem 210 students are eligible to participate – SSGs are not limited to students in the LSA Honors College. While space can be limited, in practice SSGs are open to anyone who is interested in a more in-depth exploration of the course material.
A typical assignment:
Constructing Molecules & Predicting Properties
Select a journal/year that has organic chemical structures in it. Find an uncharged molecule with 10-13 carbon atoms, 2-3 heteroatoms (N, O, S, or any halogens, in any combination), and the remainder hydrogen atoms.
Draw Lewis structures for 5 other rational connectivities (no formal charges and all closed shell atoms) with the same formula.
For the set of 6 molecules (original plus 5 creations), choose 2 of the following physical properties and predict the order of anticipated: (1) melting point, (2) boiling point, (3) dipole moment, (4) solubility in water.
For each of the two physical properties you select, write a short paragraph that describes the rationale for your rankings. Even when it is difficult to determine a ranking or if roughly equivalent rankings are predicted, describe the reasoning you used to make these decisions.
The emphasis of this assignment is on your explanation and its defensibility.
You bring your work to the SSG meeting and your unique set of molecules, your rankings and your explanation, are peer-reviewed twice. With that experience of reviewing the work of others, and with whatever feedback you get on yours, you can then elect to improve your ranking and explanation before turning in the assignment.
Other assignments in CHEM 210 SSG include:
• preparing literature-based exam problems
• a creative project (e.g., a musical video solution to an old exam problem)
• introduction to physical organic chemistry
• creative writing: a reactivity analogy
• introduction to research ethics and case studies
• consideration of the nature of science
• Q/A session with the author of a studied paper
• learning how to do proper citations