While Teaching Chemistry at Skyline High School
How we got started
• Skyline High
School - Ann Arbor,
• LEED certiﬁed
• Recycled materials
• Wind Turbine
What does Green Chemistry
mean at Skyline?
• Preventing Pollution
• Using less energy
• Using fewer or safer
• Sustaining the Earth/
How does Green Chemistry works towards
SUSTAINABILITY at Skyline?
• Using chemicals that do not harm either our health or the
• Using industrial processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous
• Designing more efﬁcient labs that minimize the production of waste
materials and decreases the amount of non-renewable energy used.
• Incorporating Green technology and educating our student to address
the three E’s when conducting investigations.
• Social Equity
Our Science Department’s
• Developed a Sustainable/Green
• Raise student’s awareness of Green
Chemistry and its 12 Principles
• As a department adhere to these
principles when designing
S/G Chem I
Taken by all tenth graders
Students will be prepared to take AP Chemistry or S/G
I trimester course; covers some Chemistry HSCEs
Instructors practice green chemistry methods
Students learn about 12 principles of green chemistry
and investigate and conduct Presidential Green
Chemistry Award processes.
• First day of class
• Great activity to do outside with
• Have students trade answer sheets and
try to explain why that person gave the
Second Day of class
• Deﬁning Sustainability
• Students are asked to brainstorm what they
would like to see last beyond their lifetime.
• Break it down into the Three E’s
• Social Equity
12 Principles of Green Chemistry
• Pollution Prevention
• Atom Economy
• Less Hazardous Synthesis
• Design Safer Chemicals
• Safer Solvents
• Energy Efﬁciency
12 Principles of Green Chemistry
• Renewable Feedstocks
• Reduce Derivatives
• Design for Degradation
• Real-Time Analysis
• Accident Prevention
You expect me to explain this to a teenager!!
• Synonyms Simplify
• Activity that starts with
common sayings and
turning them into
• Example: Homo sapiens
who reside in vitreous
domiciles should not
launch geological pieces.
• Students in groups are
assigned one of the 12
principles and they
• Making Lemonade
• Using lots of unnecessary ingredients
as a batch of lemonade is made.
• Students write in their journals what
things were not necessary and what
could be changed.
• We use M & M’s where the green ones
are the molecules that we want and
every other color is waste.
How Green is my Orange
• Supercritical CO2
• Students extract the essential oil d-limonene
from the rind of orange peels.
• Use both steam distillation and supercritical
• Compare the use of hazardous chemicals in
both extractions and energy costs.
S/G Chem 2
Two trimester course
Covers state HSCEs for
Chemistry for 1.0 credit
Includes units in
toxicology, organic, and
Trick out my Wheels
• Manufacture a car
paint that adheres
to the principles of
green chemistry as
closely as possible
in all areas of the
• The Dose Makes • Environmental
the Poison Hazards.
• Dose Response • Research paper on
Relationship organic molecules
and its toxicity.
• What is the Risk?
• Organic structure
• And the Award goes to ... Petretec
• Students build dimers of
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as
used in water bottles.
• Dimers are put together to make the
polymer and ﬁnd it cannot be broken
apart back to dimers.
Purpose of Petretec Activity
• Look at PET plastic and consider its end use.
• Understand various types of plastics
• Consider whether plastics are sustainable.
• Consider lifecycle of a plastic
• Difference between closed-loop and open-
• Look at green chemistry award winning
The Footprint of a Chemistry Teacher
• Science teachers are acutely aware of
• We also have a footprint in our
chemistry classrooms that can have a
profound effect on the earth.
• We tend to conduct labs with very little
thought as to the impact of our
classroom on the environment.
Two most important properties of matter that we want to
emphasize in our chemistry courses.
•Impact on the environment
Chemistry in the 21st Century
• Before we begin an experiment: How have our starting materials been made?
• Can we trace them back to renewable resources?
• How much waste is generated from the process?
• What happens to our waste?
• From where do we get the energy needed for the reaction and how is it generated?
• Finally we will end up with a complete picture of not only what happens in our
experiment but how our reaction interacts with the environment.
• In most cases it will be difﬁcult to determine all parameters in exact measures, but even
rough estimates allow the identiﬁcation of problems and opportunities for
• Asking these questions in our laboratory courses will change the way students look at
a chemical reaction and prepare them much better for the professional tasks.
Why change the way we teach
chemistry in high school?
• C & E News Letters to the Editor
August 7, 2006
• “But we should not lead our society to think
chemists should be able to develop nontoxic
materials. Let us provide training with a
proper basis so that “armies of students will
rise to the challenge and work to invent a
How can we change our labs?
ACS, Beyond Benign & Univ. of Oregon
Beyond Benign has Green Chemistry Info, lesson plans,
Greener Education Materials for Chemists from the Univeristy
American Chemical Society has Green Chemistry Institute;
Info, lesson plans and resources.
A Natural Approach to Chemistry
Feel free to contact me :)
Kathe Blue Hetter
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