Available Chemistry Education research projects:

Contact: Gjalt Prins

Molecular Modeling is one of the fastest growing fields in science. It may vary from building and visualizing simple molecules (in 3-Dimensions) to performing complex computer simulations on large protein molecules. Using various molecular modeling software, one can visualize, rotate, manipulate, and optimize models on a computer display. Molecular Modelling is used, for instance, for designing drugs and new materials. In secondary chemistry education students should become acquainted with and gain insights in the technique of Molecular Modelling. This urges for high quality teaching materials in which students are meaningfully engaged in molecular modelling. In our institute an innovative curriculum unit has been developed, in which students perform a lead optimalisation for designing a new drug against the malaria disease. The authentic practice of drug design is used as a context for learning. The designed curriculum unit, however, is only tested once among students grade 11. The results were positive, although it became apparent that the unit needs a thorough revision and a second try-out using the method of educational design research.

Dori, Y. J., & Kaberman, Z. (2012). Assessing high school chemistry students' modeling sub-skills in a computerized molecular modeling learning environment. Instructional Science, 40(1), 69-91. doi: 10.1007/s11251-011-9172-7.

Prins, G. T., Bulte, A. M. W., Driel, van J. H., & Pilot, A. (2009). Students' involvement in authentic modelling practices as context in chemistry education. Research in Science Education, 39, 681-700. doi: 10.1007/s11165-008-9099-4.