Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.2, March 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 2 (March)
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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 2

March 1999

Reports from IUPAC Bodies

Final Report on the Design and Field Testing of a Teaching Package for Environmental Chemistry (CTC)
(An IUPAC/ICSU Project)

The design of a package for teaching selected aspects of environmental chemistry has been completed. The package has also been field-tested through a series of hands-on workshops. The details of the work, which was carried out in Bangalore and Delhi under the auspices of the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, are as follows:

Design of the Package

  1. Four instruments for measurement of pH conductance, absorbance, and temperature have been designed in two versions: (a) a desktop model, and (b) a handheld model. The desktop model can be interfaced to a personal computer and has provisions for mains as well as battery operation. The handheld model is battery-operated only and is designed for field work.
  2. A microprocessor-based four-channel data logger has been designed for use in field-based monitoring, as it can be interfaced to sensors. The data logger can also be interfaced to a personal computer for downloading data.
  3. A three-in-one instrument called an Aqualyzer, consisting of a meter, conductometer, and colorimeter, has been designed. The unit has maximum application for water analysis, but it can also be used for other applications. The unit can be easily expanded to include an electronic thermometer.
  4. An electronic kit has been designed for teaching/learning of basic electronics (including integrated circuits or ICs).
  5. A micro-scale chemistry kit has been designed in two versions. In one version, the comboplate designed at the Radmaste Centre, University of Witwatersrand, is used, while in the other version, the plate is of Indian origin.
  6. The usability of a camcorder has been investigated for making video clips to supplement the print material and for use in multimedia modules.
  7. A multimedia presentation has been developed describing the microchemistry kit. Similar presentations, on selected aspects of environmental science, have also been investigated.
  8. Over 100 activities/experiments have been standardized using (a) the electronic kit, (b) the electronic instruments, and (c) the small-scale chemistry kit.

Field Testing
About 20 hands-on teacher-student workshops were conducted at Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay, Jaipur, and Madras to validate the instruments, the kits, and the activities. In addition, the ICSU/IUPAC package was used/demonstrated and/or exhibited at the following international meetings/workshops:

  1. International Symposium on Cost-Effective Science Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA (14-26 July 1996)
  2. Workshop on Low-Cost Instrumentation, University of Lusaka, Zambia (22-29 Nov. 1996)
  3. Workshop on Low-Cost Instrumentation, University of Mutare, Zimbabwe (4-9 June 1997)
  4. Exhibition of Low-Cost Instrumentation., IUPAC General Assembly, Geneva (22-29 August 1997)
  5. Low-Cost Instrumentation for Environmental Monitoring, Bangalore, India (9-14 March 1998)
  6. Workshop on Low-Cost Instrumentation, Male, Maldives (17-20 March 1998)
  7. Demonstration of Low-Cost Instrumentation at the Science Education Sector, World Bank, Washington DC, USA (5 May 1998)
  8. 7th International Conference on Chemistry in Africa, Durban, South Africa (6-10 July 1998)

K. V. Sane

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