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Science educators gather at Loyola to bring “green” to the classroom

Loyola press release - July 28, 2008

Loyola University New Orleans welcomes Louisiana high school and college teachers to campus July 31 – August 3 as they participate in lectures and experiments aimed at introducing green chemistry principles to use in their classrooms. Green chemistry involves any modification of an existing organic process that removes environmentally harmful solvents or reagents, reduces waste or involves recycling of materials.

The Green Chemistry in Education workshop is sponsored by a Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) National Science Foundation (NSF) grant obtained by Dr. Andy Knight and Dr. Kurt Birdwhistell of Loyola’s Department of Chemistry.

Birdwhistell says, “We intend to introduce the concepts of green chemistry to local high school and college teachers in Louisiana. We strive to increase awareness and understanding of green chemistry principles, alternatives, and benefits with the hope that the teachers will introduce these ideas to the students of Louisiana. Green chemistry provides a pathway to a sustainable future. Students get excited about doing chemistry that can help the environment.”

The workshops will consist of a series of experiments and lectures on green chemistry presented by Knight and Birdwhistell. Experiments include creating biodiesel from soybean oil, making aspirin in a microwave, and using bleach to perform an environmental friendly oxidation.

Topics include an introduction to green chemistry, the 12 principles of green chemistry and focus discussions centered on the experiments in which the attendees will participate. The workshop will conclude with a series of green chemistry success stories.

For more information visit here or contact Dr. Kurt Birdwhistell at birdwhis@loyno.edu or (504) 865-3272.

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