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CREATE Science Seminar Speaker: Dr. Marcy Towns

November 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Title: Blending chemical and mathematical knowledge as solve problems in chemical kinetics

Abstract: Answering recent calls for discipline-based education research and interdisciplinary work, this study seeks to investigate how students integrate chemistry and mathematics during problem-solving in chemical kinetics, a context that has little attention in the literature. This work investigates the following research question: In what ways do chemistry and mathematics knowledge interact as students engage in chemical kinetics problem-solving? Personal constructs, a blend of personal and social constructivism, served as the theoretical framework for this study, which involved semi-structured interviews using a think-aloud protocol with 36 general chemistry students, 5 upper-level physical chemistry students, and 3 chemical engineering students. Audio and written data were collected using a Livescribe pen, which was then combined to create interpreted narratives for each student. Blended processing, a theory from cognitive science that characterizes human knowledge integration, was used as a methodological framework to guide the analysis. Open coding revealed themes relating to common topics that were discussed when blending occurred; variation in the depth of blending was also characterized. Results provide implications for supporting student problem solving and the modeling of chemical processes.

Venue

252, Erickson Hall
620 Farm Ln
East Lansing, MI 48824 United States
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