ACTIVE AND DISCOVERY LEARNING USING OPEN SPECTROMETRY

Price: Conferee: $225; Student: $25; Non-Conferee: $325
Date: October 8 / 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Instructor: Alexander Scheeline, SpectroClick Inc.

Spectroscopy, the interaction of light with matter, is a principal way that people characterize materials.  Rudimentary spectrometers, assembled by students, can lead them to understand instrument design, performance, capabilities, and limitations.  In this workshop, we discuss what makes learning spectrometry difficult using traditional approaches, then give examples of inexpensive, active learning methods for teaching absorption spectrometry concepts.  Approaches using 3D printing, Lego spectrometers, and prefabricated flexible geometry kits are discussed.  A compact kit from the instructor’s company is used as an example so workshop attendees can experience the difference that discovery learning makes compared to declarative teaching.  Free software allows uploading JPEG files for converting images of spectra to working curves and allows students to see limitations of rudimentary instruments.  Laboratory instruments suffer the same problems as rudimentary spectrometers, but in ways that are too subtle to easily demonstrate on highly capable commercial instruments.