Chemical Education Research Committee Report, Fall 2010

Committee on Chemical Education Research (CCER)

Michael J. Sanger, Chair (2008-2010)

Chemical Education Research (CER) Symposia at National Meetings

Douglas Mulford and Bill Robinson organized the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia for the 21st BCCE in Denton, TX. There were 56 presentations that appeared in 7 sessions. The presiders included Christopher Bauer, Ann Cutler, Douglas Muford, Bill Robinson, and Ellen Yezierski.

Gautam Bhattacharyya is currently working on organizing the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia for the 240th National ACS Meeting in Boston, MA. Currently, there are 16 submitted presentations for these symposia.

Plans are currently underway for the ‘Chemical Education Research’ symposia at the 241st National Meeting of the ACS in Anaheim, CA, under the direction of Barbara Gonzalez and Kareen Monteyne.

Peer-Reviewed Oral Presentations at the ACS Meeting in Anaheim

For several years, the CCER has discussed the possibility of creating a “peerreviewed” symposium on Chemical Education Research at a National ACS or BCCE meeting. While plans were put in place to inaugurate the peer-reviewed symposia at the BCCE in Denton, TX, a lack of submission for the peer-review process caused this session to be cancelled. The committee would like to thank Douglas Mulford and Bill Robertson for working on this symposium.

Diane Bunce, Sam Pazicni, and Vickie Williamson volunteered to organize a peer-reviewed CER symposium at the ACS Meeting in Anaheim. Pazicni and Williamson reported their progress on this symposium to the CCER meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX. The symposium has been approved, and the 1000-word abstracts for this symposium should be submitted online ( by September 1, 2010. The authors will be notified by October 1, 2010, whether or not they have been invited to submit a formal abstract to this session. Authors who have not be invited to submit an abstract to this session will be encouraged to submit to the non-peer-reviewed session organized by Barbara Gonzalez and Kareen Monteyne.

Early or Mid Career Award in Chemical Education Research

The subcommittee working on this award (George Bodner, Tom Greenbowe, and Bill Harwood) made a report of their work at the CCER meeting of the San Francisco ACS. They recommended that this was not the time to try to create such an award, in part because the career award is currently in danger of being eliminated. The discussion at this meeting led to several suggestions to recognize the work of junior-level faculty members that would not require as much time or money to implement. These included creating a best paper or best presentation award (at an ACS or BCCE meeting) for graduate students or junior-level faculty.

The chair of the committee thanked Bodner, Greenbowe, and Harwood for their recommendation and officially disbanded this subcommittee.

Increasing the Number of Nominations for the ACS Award in Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry

In June 2010, the CCER was given a charge by the Chair of the Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) to discuss, consider, and devise a way to address the recommendation from ACS that the DivCHED work with its members to encourage more nominations for this award by the November 1, 2010 nomination deadline.

This topic was discussed at length in the CCER Meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX. In order to keep this award in good standing, there needs to be at least 10 nominees each year. Michael Abraham volunteered to chair a subcommittee to work on increasing the number of nominations for this award. Tom Greenbowe and Michael Sanger agreed to work with him on this process. The committee and friends at the Denton meeting of the CCER also worked on a list of prospective nominees for this award. The subcommittee has this list of nominees and will work to ensure that these candidates will be nominated. The subcommittee also asks that anyone who is nominating a colleague for this award to send a courtesy e-mail to one of the subcommittee members so they can adequate track the number of candidates nominated for this award.

New Directions for the Committee on Chemical Education Research

The rest of the CCER Meeting at the BCCE in Denton, TX, was devoted to brainstorming new directions for the CCER committee to address and new issues to tackle. These topics included:

(1) Updating the CCER page on the DivCHED website to include resources needed by those doing chemical education research (looking at the physics education website of the American Physical Society/Physics Education Research website for inspiration).

(2) Creating symposia on applying the results of CER to the chemistry classroom and interpreting these results for practitioners.

(3) Creating jointly-sponsored (e.g., DivCHED and Division of Organic Chemistry or Physical Chemistry) symposia at ACS meetings that would allow chemical education researchers to share their results with practicing chemists (professors who teach these topics) and would allow the practicing chemists to share their best practices in the classroom with their chemistry and chemical education colleagues.

The next step is to solicit volunteers to work on any of these topics, and requests for volunteers will be sent to the members of the CCER and the Chem Ed ListServe in the fall semester of 2010. Sam Pazicni and Michael Sanger agreed to work on bullet #3 for the Fall 2011 ACS meeting in Denver.

Current Membership of CCER

  • Michael J. Sanger, chair (Middle Tennessee State University)
  • Bob Blake, secretary (Glendale Community College)
  • Gautum Bhattacharyya (Clemson University)
  • Diane Bunce (The Catholic University of America)
  • Melanie Cooper (Clemson University)
  • Dawn Del Carlo (University of Northern Iowa)
  • Dan Domin (Triton College)
  • Deborah Herrington (Grand Valley State University)
  • Willie Hunter (Illinois State University)
  • Tyson Miller (University of Connecticut)
  • Greg Rushton (Kennesaw State University)
  • Cianán Russell (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  • Vickie Williamson (Texas A & M University)
  • Ningfeng Zhao (East Tennessee State University)

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