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Research as a Driver of Educational Innovation: Some Reflections on the Outreach Program of an NSF Collaborative Research in Chemistry Project

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Title: Research as a Driver of Educational Innovation: Some Reflections on the Outreach Program of an NSF Collaborative Research in Chemistry Project


1
Research as a Driver of Educational Innovation
Some Reflections on the Outreach Program of an
NSF Collaborative Research in Chemistry Project
  • Dennis H. Evans Department of Chemistry,
    University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (USA)
  • Supported by NSF, CHE-0527003

2
  • or, how I spent my summer vacation (seriously)

3
  • J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1984, 106, 3039-3041.

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National Science Foundation Collaborative
Research in Chemistry Coupling Redox Processes
to Drive Chemical Reactivity New Catalysts for
Hydrogen Production Principal Investigators
Dennis H. Evans, Richard S. Glass and Dennis L.
Lichtenberger, Department of Chemistry,
University of Arizona The science To overcome
these obstacles, this proposal derives
inspiration from Nature. Hydrogenases are
naturally occurring enzymes that couple low
potential redox reactions to generate hydrogen.
Iron-only hydrogenases utilize a cheap and
abundant metal and operate in ambient conditions.
The active site in the enzyme is a diiron center.
The scientific challenge is to couple low
potential redox reactions with reduction of a
diiron center, an energetically unfavorable
process. The proposed solution is to
electronically couple a functional diiron system
to a low potential redox ligand, and then drive
the energetically unfavorable electron-transfer
from the redox ligand to the diiron system by
coupling it to an irreversible chemical reaction,
that is, protonation and generation of H2
6
  • The outreach
  • be mentored in the skills essential for
    multidisciplinary team approaches to
    problem-solving. A program to inspire
    underrepresented high school students to pursue
    careers in science, which takes advantage of
    Tucsons large Hispanic and long-standing Native
    American populations (two minorities woefully
    underrepresented in science), is an integral part
    of this endeavor.
  • ?
  • SUMMER PROGRAM IN HYDROGEN RESEARCH
  • FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
  • June 5-July 14, 2006

7
  • The CRC Hydrogenase Team
  • Synthesis
  • Professor Richard Glass (Co-PI)Dr. Jinzhu
    Chen (Postdoc)Dr. Rudresha Kottani (Postdoc)
  • Ms. Uzma Zakai (Graduate Student)Mr. Matt
    Swenson (Graduate Student)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Professor Dennis Evans (Co-PI)
  • Dr. Greg Felton (Postdoc)
  • PES/Computations
  • Professor Dennis Lichtenberger (Co-PI)Ms. Tori
    Moser (Graduate Student)Mr. Taka
    Sakamoto (Graduate Student)Mr. Aaron
    Vannucci (Graduate Student)Mr. Ben
    Petro (Graduate Student)

8
The NSF Nugget
9
Hydrogenase Active Site
X OH or H2O Y O or N
http//metallo.scripps.edu/PROMISE/FEHASE.html
10
Ms. Uzma Zakai
11
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12
Cover Art for Inorganic Chemistry are we ready
for this?
13
He 1 close comparison
11
10
9
8
Ionization Energy (eV)
Ms. Tori Moser, 2006
14
  • SUMMER PROGRAM IN HYDROGEN RESEARCH
  • FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
  • June 5-July 14, 2006
  • Recruit high school students and teachers for a
    six-week program of research in the CRC
    laboratories
  • Concentrate on Tucson high schools (e.g.,
    Sunnyside High School is gt80 Hispanic)
  • Students and teachers will receive a stipend 5
    days/week, 8 hr/day
  • Form teams of two students and one teacher
  • The teams will work with the faculty, postdocs
    and graduate students in the CRC on projects of
    direct importance to CRC
  • At the end, each team will write a report and
    prepare a presentation

15
  • Questions
  • Will anyone apply? (25 students 3 teachers)
  • Qualifications? (Excellent)
  • Will the students understand? (Mixed)
  • Will teachers want to spend the summer with
    students? (No problem)
  • Shall we start with a week of lectures on the
    hydrogen economy, relevant chemistry?
  • (Bored them to death)
  • Shall we have exercises to introduce the students
    to laboratory techniques? (Essential)
  • Will the laboratory projects be interesting?
  • (They loved it)
  • What will motivate them? (Feeling that they are
    helping the project)

16
Thu Nguyen Sabino High School
William Pickeral University High School
Sarena Debaca Sunnyside High School
Stefan Romero Sunnyside High School
Jessica Peña Desert View High School
Delissa Fimbres Palo Verde High School
Questions or comments concerning this website can
be addressed to Taka Sakamoto or Ben Petro.Last
Updated
17
Mark Calhoun Sabino High School
Wilma Amero Pueblo Magnet High School
Tim Barry Salpointe Catholic High School
  • The projects and presentations
  • Amero, Nguyen, Peña Optimization of chemical
    synthesis of quinones
  • Barry, Debaca, Romero Development of an
    electrochemical method of preparing quinones
  • Calhoun, Fimbres, Pickeral Computational
    study of a new hydrogenase mimic

18
Adding Quinone To Backbone
.20 grams of iron backbone, .19 grams of quinone,
and 250 mL of THF. The UV light was on for a
total of 7.5 minutes.
Before UV light
After UV light
19
This is supposed to happen
At about 30 coulombs and an Acidic pH
Instantaneous Color Change to Green
This is not supposed to happen
Starting at Neutral pH with 70 Coulombs to
complete Reaction Color is Red
Team Barry, Debaca, Romero
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21
  • So what did we learn?
  • The students had very minimal prior laboratory
    experience, but they loved the lab
  • We shouldnt start with a week of lectures
  • The teams are capable of developing their own
    ideas (electrosynthesis of quinones was suggested
    by Tim Barry)
  • Six graduate students and one postdoc were
    assigned to work with the participants. This was
    of crucial importance
  • Our expectations of prior knowledge of
    chemistry were unrealistically high

22
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