Ms. Katrina Owens, a sophomore Biochemistry major and student in the Robert E. Cook Honors College, presented her undergraduate research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting on March 22, 2010, in San Francisco.
Ms. Owens’ poster, “A Qualitative Study of Student Learning During a Guided Inquiry Laboratory: The Blue Bottle Experiment,” was presented during the undergraduate poster session, during which more than one thousand undergraduate students from around the United States and several other countries were able to showcase their work and meet with chemists from academia, government, and industry.
The classic Blue Bottle experiment is an interesting demonstration of a complex redox reaction. The experiment has been commonly used as an inquiry and guided inquiry experiment, owing to the ability to initiate the reaction by shaking the reaction flask, and the easily observed blue to clear color change. This study uses a talk-aloud protocol and the perspective of mental models to analyze important cognitive processes and assess student learning during the activity. The impact of providing various kinds of information prior to the activity is determined, and several specific methods students use to investigate the reaction are identified.
“I was able to go to this meeting because of our grant from the National Science Foundation and IUP’s Chemistry Department,” said Owens. “I really enjoyed my poster session because I was able to talk to so many people who were truly interested in my research. It made me realize the research I do will ultimately be a benefit to the scientific community.”
Ms. Owens’ research was supervised by Dr. Michael Briggs and Dr. George Long and funded under their recent NSF grant.