Title: Introduction of small scale chemistry experiments - Teacher
Chaiman: J. D. Bradley
Remarks: Interaction with UNESCO
> link to UNESCO
Global Microscience Project to access Teachers' Guide
& Students Worksheets
To introduce to teachers, inspectors and education officials the advantage
of performing chemistry experiments on a small scale. This is to be
done through introductory workshops in developing countries and countries
in transition where hands-on experience will be provided under expert
Most chemistry educators agree that practical chemistry experiences
are a vital part of education in chemistry. This is so, regardless of
whether or not the students become professional chemists. Unfortunately
concerns about costs, safety and the environment have conspired to prevent
this in the majority of countries. Also unfortunately, in many countries
there is no awareness of the possible solution to these problems in
the small scale approach. Our objective is to introduce this awareness
in a meaningful way, which means providing first-hand experiences in
a workshop context.
We have now gained some experience with this strategy by working in
cooperation with UNESCO (Basic Sciences Division). It is clear that
the strategy is successful: the hands-on workshop activities, together
with discussion sessions, allow the advantages of the small-scale approach
to be recognised and considered. Overwhelmingly the conclusions have
been very positively in favour and local educators and scientists have
then taken the matter further. This usually requires them to find funds
to run a pilot project over a 6-month period, in which UNESCO may or
may not be able to assist them.
In the light of this experience, we are confident that a worthwhile
concept of practical chemistry is being disseminated.
It has very wide appeal because it addresses a general need in the
provision of meaningful science education, and is not linked to any
specific curriculum or indeed any specific pedagogical theory. Long-term
positive influences on the public appreciation of chemistry are also
anticipated. To conduct further workshops requires the provision of
an expert to lead the workshop and small quantities of equipment and
chemicals for use in the workshop (normally designed for about 30 people).
We envisage that the expert is a volunteer whose travel and accommodation
costs need to be met: this would be in part an IUPAC contribution. UNESCO
would be solely responsible for contributing the materials for the workshop.
A truly global benefit to chemistry education - and hence to chemistry
- can be envisaged. Hence IUPAC participation is appropriate.
> See previous Project 025/43/91
At the 8th International Chemistry Conference in Africa (8th ICCA),
30 July-4 August 2001, Dakar, Sénégal, Prof. Bradly presented a lecture
entitled 'UNESCO/IUPACCTC Global Program in Microchemistry'. This lecture
is published in Pure
73(7), 1215-1219 (2001) and reprinted in Chem.
The Microchemistry Teaching and Learning Packages are made available
free of charge by the Global Microscience Project
to Contents (on UNESCO portal), Teachers'
Guide & Students Worksheets (updated: 2006-01-02)
An update report has been published in Chem.
2006, p. 22.
Last update: 26 July 2006
you want to update this information, contact us by e-mail
Do not forget to include the Project Number,
your name and relation with that project