Structured study groups (SSGs) for Chemistry 215 (sections 100, 300 & 400) 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. Students who wishes to earn honors credit for CHEM 215, and do not want to take the integrated lecture/lab course (CHEM 215H/216H – section 200) must participate in an SSG.

All CHEM 215 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:
Interpreting Carbon-13 NMR Spectroscopy

Each student claims a journal article in which 13C-NMR data are reported for a molecule; the molecule should have between 10-20 carbon atoms.

Each student should prepare a written page that includes:
(a) the citation
(b) A copy of the cover page of the journal article
(c) a sentence or two about the content of the paper (“In the research described in this article…”)
(d) a drawing of the molecule in question, as well as the inventory of chemical shifts that are reported in the article; the exercise is to correlate the chemical shift values with which carbon atoms they represent
(e) each correlation should be associated with a short sentence or phrase where the student tells why a given C-NMR signal should be associated with that particular groups of carbon atoms; in other words, justify the choice of assignment

The report described above is used as the basis for part of the SSG time. The report is peer reviewed twice. You then take your experience in reviewing others’ work and the feedback you get, and decide if you can improve the assignment before it is turned in.

Other assignments in CHEM 215 SSG include:

• a 4-week unit on the organic chemistry of nutrition
• spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
• a 4-week unit research ethics, including writing a case study
• weekly transformation problems (synthesis & mechanism)
• a 4-week unit on the development of the alcohol dehydrogenase mechanism
• a creative project (i.e., quiz slides that are projected in the SLC)