The University of Pennsylvania's Science Teacher Institute
Master of Integrated Science Education Program
of Content Enduring Understandings
The participant has grown to have a stronger comprehension of science content as described in the program and course Enduring Understandings.
this Organic Chemistry course began, we had
to complete a Pre-class
happened to be great baseline
to show where I was and how I have grown to where I am now. There you
can read my thoughts
of the Enduring Understanding (E.U.) before the course began, and you
can see that I really
did not have anything to say then. That is not the case
anymore. At the end of the class I wrote an essay
about my understanding of
that same E.U. (link above).
Anyone who even skims that essay can see that my comprehension is
much stronger now, mainly because of some of the following experiences
I have attached two days of notes because they show information that was monumental in my understanding of polarity, specifically how polarity and shape determine a molecule’s IMFs (intermolecular forces) and therefore its interactions and reactions. One page shows a table listing all the important characteristics that would help us decide if a molecule was polar . I still had some difficulty with this concept and met with Dr. Jacobs for help. I also included the notes she gave me during our discussion because it was here that I faced a misconception I had. I thought that polar bonds, due to differences in electronegativity, automatically indicated polarity. I even wrote that on the infamous pre-class assignment. When I worked with her, she helped me realize my misunderstanding and gave me examples to clear it up.
I learned that polarity determines reactions and interactions when we did the Evaporation Lab. In this lab we analyzed and compared the evaporation rates of chemicals, and used the concepts of IMFs to explain why the rates were different. If you look at the table you can see that we considered shape, polarity, IMFs, molecular weight, and rate of evaporation. Looking at my response to question4 in the conclusion section, I wrote how this lab pulled together these concepts and helped me learn how these things were connected. (Note- In the conclusion section I wrote additional comments after the class discussion of the lab.)
The last piece of evidence I wanted to include about this part of the E.U. is one of my quizzes. Question #1 asked us to determine which compound was more soluble . I got full credit for this question because I was able to use the ideas I learned about polarity and IMFs. This was an accomplishment for me because it shows that I understood the concepts that I discussed above.
These learning experiences I mentioned above were milestones for me. They occurred early in our course, and may be viewed as simple concepts, but I felt that these deserved attention because they were the most valuable to me. Without an understanding of polarity and the effects of IMFs, many of the more difficult concepts and objectives for the remainder of the course would not have been understood. Link below to read my current understanding if this Enduring Understanding.