Structured study groups (SSGs) are an integral part of Chemistry 215 (section 200). This course (CHEM 215-200) is a co-requisite with CHEM 216-200. It is a research and project-oriented version of the CHEM 215/216 courses that has been come to be known as “double honors” or “HH” over the years, because honors credit it earned in both the lecture and lab courses.
The overall subject matter is the same, but the curriculum is different in that (a) it has a greater emphasis on the experimental side of organic chemistry and (b) it tends to dig a little deeper and explore a little more broadly than the regular CHEM 215/216 courses.
All CHEM 215 students are eligible to participate – these courses are not limited to students in the LSA Honors College. All students in CHEM 215H-200 and CHEM 216H-200 also participate in an SSG.
Many of the assignments, including a term-long project in which a student-generated text and web site are created, as built upon a set of journal articles that are unique to the given year, based on a selection by the faculty instructor.
A typical assignment:
Interpreting Carbon-13 NMR Spectroscopy
The journal articles to be used as resources are the papers that are NOT the one assigned to your SSG. Each subgroup member should prepare and submit their own version of the assignment.
For this assignment, each subgroup should claim two molecules for which 13C-NMR data are reported. If these two can also be two molecules that were related by a chemical reaction, then that is even more interesting (but not a requirement). The written assignment should consist of:
(a) a citation and a short story about the chemistry involved (if molecules from 2 articles are used, then 2 citations and 2 stories are needed); the “story” is the reason why someone was pursuing this chemistry project to begin with – why does the author say that pursuing this line of research is important?
(b) a clear indication of which molecules you are using and, for both, a clear drawing of the molecular structures;
(c) a correlation between the 13C-NMR spectral lines that are reported and the portion of the structure represented by the absorptions. Think carefully about balancing all of the data; the first decisions you make may not be the right ones – and that is okay. One great thing about NMR: all the information is there, and it must all make internal sense.
Other assignments in CHEM 215H SSG include:
• extensive practice with spectroscopic identification of organic compounds
• a unit research ethics, including writing a case study
• Frontier Molecular Orbitals and organic chemical reactions
• sub-group special topics: selectivity of the Diels-Alder reaction
• sub-group special topics: chemistry of the Citric Acid Cycle
• sub-group special topics: selectivity in carbonyl addition reactions
• sub-group special topics: the molecular machine of hemoglobin
• the HTML project: a student-generated text/site based on literature papers