The following dissertation looks at addressing environmental contaminants in the environment and the integration of an active learning style in an introductory chemistry course. It begins with addressing the concern for chlorinated propanes and ethane in the environment and the importance of looking into environmental remediation applications. This research looks at incorporating vitamin B12 as an environmentally friendly catalyst in the presence of zero valent iron for the reduction of chlorinated propanes and ethane. Chapter 2 presents the analytical methods and conditions in which samples were run. The results from these experiments are discussed in length in Chapter 3. Our results confirmed the hypothesis that vitamin B12 could act as an electron mediator to facilitate the reduction of the chlorinated propanes and ethane. Degradation was examined by observing the formation of byproduct peaks and the release of free chloride into solution. In Chapter 4, vitamin B12 is integrated into an already established industrial application technique, emulsified zero valent iron, and we observed the degradation of 1,2,3-trichloropropane with the formation of byproducts as the reaction progressed. In Chapter 5, this section of the dissertation focused on chemical education and observing an active learning technique in a fundamental chemistry course. The following study was designed to increase students' positive attitude, engagement, and responsibility in a large enrollment chemistry course by utilizing a modified Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model. GRR progressively transfers responsibility from the instructor to the student, allowing students to be more independent and helping them to address atypical problems. Students were assessed using iClickers to monitor their understanding and engagement, as well as surveys to determine their attitudes regarding this specific style of teaching. The results from this study demonstrated that implementing the GRR teaching style had a positive effect on student academic performance and shows the importance of using an active teaching model in a large enrollment course.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Lapeyrouse, Nicole, "Remediation of Chlorinated Alkanes by Zero Valent Iron with Vitamin B12 and Utilization of a Modified Gradual Release of Responsibility Model in a Large Enrollment Chemistry Course" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6611.