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Article

Using Simulation of Apparatus Set-up to Improve Safety

1Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community Colege, 199 Chambers Street, New York City, NY

2Department of Computer Information Services, Borough of Manhattan Community Colege, 199 Chambers Street, New York City, NY


World Journal of Chemical Education. 2015, Vol. 3 No. 2, 36-39
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-3-2-2
Copyright © 2015 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Brahmadeo Dewprashad, Colin Persaud. Using Simulation of Apparatus Set-up to Improve Safety. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2015; 3(2):36-39. doi: 10.12691/wjce-3-2-2.

Correspondence to: Colin  Persaud, Department of Computer Information Services, Borough of Manhattan Community Colege, 199 Chambers Street, New York City, NY. Email: bdewprashad@bmcc.cuny.edu; cpersaud@bmcc.cuny.edu

Abstract

There is increased focus on improving both safety and learning outcomes of undergraduate chemistry laboratory experiences. Incorrect setting and/or misuse of equipment occurs commonly and can even lead to accidents. This article describes how this was addressed by the development of pre-lab activities that require students to read a detailed step by step word document with instructions and appropriate diagrams describing the set-up of the apparatus, watch a video demonstrating the same and then demonstrating that they could set-up the apparatus by successfully completing an online simulated assembly of the apparatus. Following the pre-lab activities, students undertook the lab and were required to set up the apparatus on their own but to seek instructor’s help as needed. It was observed that the class was able to set-up the apparatus within fifteen minutes. This is in contract to the usual time of around one hour taken traditionally. The time saved was used was used to link the theory underlying the lab to a novel application of nanoparticles to accomplish distillation at room temperature. Students were also surveyed on their perception of the pre-laboratory activities. An overwhelming majority of the students felt that the pre-lab activities were valuable and better prepared them to set-up the simple distillation apparatus correctly and that similar pre-lab activities be developed for other laboratory exercises.

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