Our Department has a proven track record of leadership at all levels within and outside the University. Our activities cover a wide scope from administrative leadership, to service as journal editors or on federal funding panels, to participation with numerous professional societies, including our local ACS section. We receive state-wide and regional recognition for K-12 engagement (e.g., Discovery Days, Chemistry Week). As a land, sea, space, and sun grant institution, OSU is committed to outreach and engagement and OSU Strategic Plan 4.0 asks us to actively engage with the communities we serve. We intend to continue in existing activities and to explore new service opportunities in the profession and community.
Develop a chemical safety course
aimed initially at majors in our Chemistry Education option and K-12 science teachers. The OSU College of Education does not provide instruction in this area for teacher certification, but we can fill this need. Coverage should include lab safety, demo safety, chemical storage, and chemical waste disposal. The course will be offered in an on-campus hybrid format for current campus students or a summer section, as well as via Ecampus.
In the first year, we will develop and submit a curriculum proposal for this new course.
Partner with OSU cultural resource centers
to hold joint events (seminars, discussions, orientations, demo nights, etc.) that promote and help introduce our Department community to multiple student groups on campus. We will reach out to actively welcome students to our discipline, courses, research, outreach, and other interests. As OSU is home to seven Centers which each hosts multiple allied student groups, we can use them as resources to inform and connect us with large groups of diverse OSU campus students.
In the first year, we will contact four or more culture center directors and plan at least two such Chemistry events. We will survey participants to learn the impact of these events on student perception and interest in our Department. By the third year, we will conduct at least one Chemistry event each academic term in collaboration with a cultural Center.
Support ongoing outreach programs targeting elementary and high schools
Especially those with students who have less representation at OSU, including underrepresented minority students, students with lower access to enrichment activities, and first-generation college students. We should publicize our activities and goals widely, and highlight them in broader impact statements. We can partner with the College to increase our presence at all regional high schools via visits and outward-looking web content.
In the first year, we will identify resources and include these activities in some faculty position descriptions. We will track visitors and monitor the number of students impacted. Our Department website will expand content useful to high school teachers.
Open a summer Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry Institute
There are limited options within the state, so AP and prospective AP teachers must travel out of state for training. We can leverage some of our faculty teaching experience and offer a training program. A longer-term and more ambitious goal is to combine with other OSU departments to develop into a prominent regional location for AP training.
In the first year, we will contact the College Board to determine hosting opportunities and requirements, and open a dialogue with potential stakeholders.
Develop workshops for Oregon high school chemistry teachers
that support requirements for continuing education, and help in recruiting top students at OSU. A faculty committee will establish workshop activities, set accompanying goals, metrics and budget, and recommend the start date end frequency of the workshops.
Once workshops are established, we will monitor participation rates and assess the impact on the number of incoming Chemistry majors.