5
Overarching Curricula and Implementation Ideas

In addition to the presentation of curricula being used and developed at all educational levels, the workshop allowed the attendees to react and discuss ideas about green chemistry and engineering education. Five themes that came up throughout the two days and in multiple education categories were (1) marketing; (2) green curricula; (3) research extensive universities (R1s); (4) business education; and (5) green ethics. This section highlights these overarching ideas.

PROMOTING GREEN CHEMISTRY AND GREEN ENGINEERING

The marketing of green chemistry and green engineering education efforts within an organization and to the public are critical for the growth of the fields. Linda Vanasupa, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is not so sure that if green chemistry is incorporated into the curricula students will automatically be drawn to the idea; the human dimension must be considered. Green educators are excited about new curricula but also need to balance that with the issue of what students want. The educators have to overcome the perception that green chemistry and engineering are niche topics rather than state-of-the-art science and therefore can attract and retain the best and brightest students.

Several of the attendees expressed ideas of how to improve marketing of green education. Steve Howdle from the University of Nottingham explained that the reason for the low enrollment rate for the undergraduate green program may be as simple as where the green chemistry and engineering programs are placed in the course catalog. His explanation is based on data from the universities of Oxford and Sheffield where enrollment is 20-30 students a year and the green courses are listed in chemistry and chemical engineering curricula instead of being listed under a separate green curriculum in the course catalog. Howdle also thought that even differences in language, such as “octylamine” versus “octyl amine,” between the United Kingdom and the United States create hurdles for the green community because they create cultural differences.

Vanasupa shared Cal Poly’s materials engineering undergraduate program marketing experiment with the workshop participants. One part of the marketing experiment was changing the e-mail announcement about the program from an “Extreme Action” theme to a more subtle theme: trees with music. A second part of the marketing experiment was redesigning the Web pages with more photographs depicting a diverse array of people (see Figure 5.1). Motivations for the changes were to have students practice reflection and to create an image that the field embraces diversity.1 Cal Poly also wants to understand the issues driving humanistic students.

The number of U.S. citizens versus international students in graduate science and engineering programs is another issue. Despite a 15-year investment in science and engineering education, there is a decreasing trend in the number of engineering and chemistry degrees. For example, in 2000 approximately 5,000 Ph.D. degrees in the physical sciences were granted in the United States compared with approximately 25,000 Ph.D. degrees granted in China.2

Communication through advertising, teaching, and educational materials are also seen as useful to get the message out and market green chemistry. The many American Chemical Society (ACS) publications Kathryn Parent presented are one avenue. Both the ACS’s Journal of Chemical Education and The CPT (Committee on Professional Training) news-

1

http://mate.calpoly.edu/quest.

2

National Science Board. 2002. Science and Engineering Indicators 2002. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation.



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5 Overarching Curricula and Implementation Ideas In addition to the presentation of curricula being used green curriculum in the course catalog. Howdle also thought and developed at all educational levels, the workshop al- that even differences in language, such as “octylamine” ver- lowed the attendees to react and discuss ideas about green sus “octyl amine,” between the United Kingdom and the chemistry and engineering education. Five themes that came United States create hurdles for the green community be- up throughout the two days and in multiple education cat- cause they create cultural differences. egories were (1) marketing; (2) green curricula; (3) research Vanasupa shared Cal Poly’s materials engineering un- extensive universities (R1s); (4) business education; and (5) dergraduate program marketing experiment with the work- green ethics. This section highlights these overarching ideas. shop participants. One part of the marketing experiment was changing the e-mail announcement about the program from an “Extreme Action” theme to a more subtle theme: trees with PROMOTING GREEN CHEMISTRY AND GREEN music. A second part of the marketing experiment was rede- ENGINEERING signing the Web pages with more photographs depicting a The marketing of green chemistry and green engineer- diverse array of people (see Figure 5.1). Motivations for the ing education efforts within an organization and to the pub- changes were to have students practice reflection and to create an image that the field embraces diversity.1 Cal Poly also lic are critical for the growth of the fields. Linda Vanasupa, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is wants to understand the issues driving humanistic students. not so sure that if green chemistry is incorporated into the The number of U.S. citizens versus international stu- curricula students will automatically be drawn to the idea; dents in graduate science and engineering programs is an- the human dimension must be considered. Green educators other issue. Despite a 15-year investment in science and en- are excited about new curricula but also need to balance that gineering education, there is a decreasing trend in the number with the issue of what students want. The educators have to of engineering and chemistry degrees. For example, in 2000 overcome the perception that green chemistry and engineer- approximately 5,000 Ph.D. degrees in the physical sciences ing are niche topics rather than state-of-the-art science and were granted in the United States compared with approxi- mately 25,000 Ph.D. degrees granted in China.2 therefore can attract and retain the best and brightest stu- dents. Communication through advertising, teaching, and edu- Several of the attendees expressed ideas of how to im- cational materials are also seen as useful to get the message prove marketing of green education. Steve Howdle from the out and market green chemistry. The many American Chemi- University of Nottingham explained that the reason for the cal Society (ACS) publications Kathryn Parent presented are low enrollment rate for the undergraduate green program one avenue. Both the ACS’s Journal of Chemical Education may be as simple as where the green chemistry and engi- and The CPT (Committee on Professional Training) news- neering programs are placed in the course catalog. His ex- planation is based on data from the universities of Oxford and Sheffield where enrollment is 20-30 students a year and 1http://mate.calpoly.edu/quest. the green courses are listed in chemistry and chemical engi- 2National Science Board. 2002. Science and Engineering Indicators neering curricula instead of being listed under a separate 2002. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation. 25

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26 EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES IN GREEN CHEMISTRY FIGURE 5.1 Web shot of California Polytechnic’s Materials Engineering Web site. SOURCE: Vanasupa, L. Where Do We Go from Here? Addressing the Human Dimension of Curricular Design. Presentation at the National Academies Chemical Sciences Roundtable Green Chemistry and Engineering Education Workshop. November 8, 2005. letter, which Fleming Crim spotlighted, are excellent forums. were noted. Both David Shonnard from Michigan Techno- In addition to historical media outlets external to a school, logical University and Stanley Manahan from the University such as radio and newspaper, working with a school’s radio of Missouri brought up the idea of industrial ecology or the station or journalism school, are other broadcasting avenues science of sustainability. According to Shonnard, industrial for all levels of education. In addition, collaborations on en- ecology is an interdisciplinary framework for designing and ergy initiatives that are springing up on many campuses and operating industrial systems as living systems interdepen- in many industries (not just the petrochemical industry) are dent with natural systems. Therefore, there is a balance be- also opportunities for communication between groups who tween environmental and economic performance with local do not routinely communicate with one another, such as civil and global ecological constraints. Industrial ecology com- engineers and energy economists. prises several tools and systems, such as Life Cycle Assess- ments (LCA), according to David Allen from the University of Texas-Austin. A standard definition of an LCA is an ob- ADDITIONAL GREEN CURRICULAR IDEAS jective process to evaluate the environmental burdens asso- Several ideas for curricular development not mentioned ciated with a product, process, or activity by identifying en- in existing green material or in the process of development ergy, materials, and wastes in order to evaluate and

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27 OVERARCHING CURRICULA AND IMPLEMENTATION IDEAS implement opportunities to affect environmental improve- try, chemical engineering, and other students within the ments. Material and energy flow analyses (e.g., mass bal- standard engineering and chemistry curricula is a solution ancing) for a variety of scales, such as an individual busi- versus teaching in a silo, single-channel fashion. Crim from ness, industrial sector, or an entire economy, that are the University of Wisconsin sees more materials being measuring environmental performance are part of LCAs. freely available, as well as custom publishing, so that the Legislative issues in occupational and public health cost of materials and books decreases because custom pub- seem to be beyond what is considered standard for life-cycle lishing could create iTunes™ like databases of laboratory assessments and completely unrelated to green chemistry and experiments. People will be able to selectively purchase engineering; however, there are important connections that only the experiments they want. should be noted. Mike Wilson from University of Califor- nia, Berkeley, School of Public Health cited the issue of RESEARCH EXTENSIVE UNIVERSITIES work-related exposures in the United States, in California in particular, as examples of green occupational health issues. Although there are signs that research extensive univer- Work related hazardous exposures represent 60,000 deaths sities (R1s) are becoming more involved with green educa- in the United States every year, 7,000 in California alone, tion in direct and indirect ways, the lack of presence and and is therefore a major public health issue. Specific ex- support of R1 universities for green chemistry and green amples of green-chemistry-related occupational and public engineering education was a theme brought up several times health legislative issues include (1) the phaseout of perchlo- during the workshop. Parent sees R1 involvement as low. roethylene and other chlorinated solvents from vehicle re- Richard Wool from the University of Delaware sees R1s 10 pair; hexane was substituted for perchlorethylene in Califor- years behind in green education. Howdle strongly articulated nia and across the United States with deleterious effects; and that R1s are conflicted between having the traditional R1 (2) bromopropane has been introduced as a substitute for attitude of research powerhouses, and still wanting to install chlorofluorcarbons. Julie Zimmerman from the Environmen- more fume hoods to work with even more hazardous materi- tal Protection Agency and the University of Virginia added als versus the integration of greenness that would dilute the that environmental and human health impacts are typically skills of the graduate students and postdocs. Kenneth Doxsee viewed as an outcome from LCA rather than an integrated from the University of Oregon believes that since R1s are part of life-cycle management. Therefore it is important to major feeders for industrial employers and next generations introduce engineers and chemists, most of whom probably of faculty, they have a responsibility to embrace green prin- do not know what lethal dose 503 is, to environmental health ciples. Doxsee thought that the presence of faculty from and biomedical topics such as toxicity, toxicology, and epi- MIT, Cornell, and Wisconsin at this Chemical Science demiology. Roundtable workshop was a sign that R1s are seeing value A second curriculum topic that Eric Beckman from the in green education. University of Pittsburgh proposed is chemical product de- There was both agreement and disagreement that the sign with sustainability being the design goal. Product de- trickle-down theory of green research done by faculty, sign classes are common in other types of engineering, such postdocs, and graduate students influences the undergradu- as mechanical and electrical, but have eluded chemical engi- ate curriculum in a positive way. Three examples of the many neers. Of the 6.5 billion people on the planet, most do not intellectual opportunities green research gives researchers, know or have any background in chemical product design. A according to Crim, are Tyler McQuade (Cornell University) product design class would be a multidisciplinary subject, so researching telescoping of reactions, Barry Trost (Stanford ideally there would be chemists and business students in University) emphasizing atom economy, and Shannon Stall addition to chemical engineers taking the class. In addition, (University of Wisconsin) focusing on inorganic catalysis. teaching the design philosophy that green products are al- Crim explained that translating this research into education most as cheap and almost as good is not good enough. The critical because just “cherry picking” reactions that can be products need to be cheaper, reliable, and green. made to look very green can turn out to be very distant from In the area of curriculum, access to information and what people are doing in R1 universities. The Grignard reac- resources is seen as one of the biggest challenges, which tion is a good example of this. The Grignard reaction is still goes back to the topic of marketing. According to Howdle, traditionally taught in chemistry classes, but metal-catalyzed Parent, and Haack, one simple issue is just getting people coupling reactions, not Grignards, are more commonly used in touch with the resources. Jorge Vanegas from Texas in the laboratory. Crim suggests that the problem is how ef- A&M University, formerly of Georgia Institute of Tech- fective the R1 faculty members are in translating the green nology, stressed that creating common classes for chemis- research into teaching, with some professors being more ef- fective than others. In addition, Crim believes that the R1 universities could use the green textbooks and material that undergraduate colleges use to prevent “reinventing the 3Lethal dose 50 (LD50) is the dose at which 50 percent of an exposed wheel” and ease the overload burden. animal population dies.

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28 EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES IN GREEN CHEMISTRY BUSINESS EDUCATION • Research programs; • Degree programs; A common theme throughout the workshop was incorpo- • Booklets; rating green ideas into business education. According to • Textbooks; Warner, training people just to work for corporations is not • Competitions; enough anymore, and an emphasis on entrepreneurship is • Websites; needed. Two examples of business education activities are Pat • Databases; and Hogan’s business club at Suffolk University and Tyler • Distance education. McQuade’s efforts to develop relationships between Cornell’s chemistry department and its business school. The fact that Developing curricular ideas around the issues of mar- green business efforts for undergraduate, graduate, and fac- keting, occupational health, business education, R1s, and ulty are in motion is evidence that many see it as important. green ethics are also seen as important for the future of green Parent sees one of the issues of selling green education to chemistry and green engineering education. The workshop business people is making it clear how they will gain from served as a forum to organize a core of leaders who hope to using green principles. Parent notes, however, that it is the further facilitate, catalyze, and integrate green chemistry, scientists and engineers pushing the efforts, not the business engineering, and policy into historical curricula. community and it is therefore currently a one-sided push. Comparing the ideas about green chemistry and engi- neering education that participants identified in the pre- GREEN ETHICS workshop survey with what the attendees were able to dis- cuss and rally around indicates consistency of trends. In the Green ethics, or the social responsibility to improve the pre-workshop survey the majority of the respondents (76 environment, was another curriculum item that came up in percent) felt an integrated approach for teaching the material discussion several times. In addition to many of the attend- was more effective than teaching separately. A similar idea, ees who deem green ethics important, it is also information presented in the overarching marketing section, came out the students want. Vanasupa said that many students are very repeatedly during the two-day workshop. In the area of im- attracted to the idea of “making a difference” and “service to pediments to incorporation, the respondents did not identify humanity.” According to Vanasupa, ethics have been a pe- one factor as dominant. Instead books, lecture materials, col- ripheral subject in many schools and having the material league resistance or lack of awareness, and a crowded cur- as an integral part of the curriculum is a goal with a variety riculum were each about equally important (about 20 per- of solutions available. cent each). The lack of materials and crowded curriculum, as Cliff Davidson from Carnegie Mellon University posed well as the lack of awareness of materials, mentioned in the the question of “who will teach the ethics?” Davidson suggested overarching section mirrored the survey results. Prior to the that expert ethicists and humanities professors were seen as ap- workshop, the attendees indicated that green education was propriate people to teach as well as help develop the curricu- best targeted at all undergraduate levels (67 percent), as well lum. Vanasupa explained that because faculty members are of- as at the freshmen level (17 percent). The presentation of so ten already burdened with a full workload, one solution has many efforts at all levels of education during the workshop been to outsource to the experts. At the same time, she said that indicates that there is an interest for some kind of education the outsourcing can also create a disconnect between the faculty at all levels. In addition, the particular breakout group, Green and material covered. One solution to the disconnect is coteach- Chemistry and Engineering in Future Curricula, felt that a ing, although there can initially be problems with the adminis- specific degree program is best targeted at the graduate level tration and infrastructure. since undergraduates are trained to be generalists. During the workshop the attendees’ discussion of the benefits of CONCLUSION green education agreed with the survey’s findings: (1) en- thusiasm (35 percent); (2) recruitment and retention (23 per- By the close of the two days, the attendees of this cent); and (3) increased job opportunities (18 percent). Over- Chemical Sciences Roundtable workshop had covered a all, the attendees also agreed with the survey that green wide array of green chemistry and green engineering educa- teaching aids the teaching of historical curricula (100 per- tion efforts and ideas for all levels of education. The existing cent) and acts as a multidisciplinary tool (94 percent). In and developing efforts at the pre-college, undergraduate, addition, the workshop discussion identified savings in labo- graduate, faculty, and industry levels discussed cover many ratory equipment, chemicals, and supplies as huge benefits. formats: Although the survey clearly indicated that the attendees felt that a lack of funding (91 percent) was an issue and during • Workshops; the workshop funding was occasionally mentioned, the • Videos; workshop focused on the many content, growth, and imple- • Computer programs; mentation ideas.