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Irene TAN DEVELOPING AN ETHICAL MIND THROUGH CHEMISTRY Teachers’ Conference 2014 Concurrent Session 4, 11.45 am, Room 320.

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Presentation on theme: "Irene TAN DEVELOPING AN ETHICAL MIND THROUGH CHEMISTRY Teachers’ Conference 2014 Concurrent Session 4, 11.45 am, Room 320."— Presentation transcript:

1 Irene TAN DEVELOPING AN ETHICAL MIND THROUGH CHEMISTRY Teachers’ Conference 2014 Concurrent Session 4, am, Room 320

2 Irene TAN RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT CHEM TEACHING is unpopular and irrelevant in the eyes of students (Kracjik et al., 2001; Osborne and Collins, 2001: Pak, 1997; Sjoberg, 2001; WCS, 1999; ICASE, 2003); does not promote higher order cognitive skills (Anderson et al, 1992; Zoller, 1993); leads to gaps between students’ wishes and teachers’ teaching (Hofstein et al. 2000; Yager and Weld, 2000; Holbrook and Rannikmae, 2002); and chemistry curricula tend to put the subject first, and applications a poor second (Holbrook, 2005).

3 Irene TAN TAXONOMY OF SIGNIFICANT LEARNING Significant Learning Involves both cognitive and affective domains. It is characterised by “some kind of lasting change that is important in terms of the learner’s life”. (Fink 2003)

4 Irene TAN When a learning experience has a profound effect on a student, it can result in a greater sense of caring for the subject, for themselves, others, or learning in general. Greater caring can lead to new interests, energy for learning, or a change in values. (Fink 2003)

5 Irene TAN CATEGORIES OF SIGNIFICANT LEARNING Learning CategoriesSpecific Kinds of Learning Foundational Knowledge Understanding and Remembering Information & Ideas Application Skills; Critical, Creative, and Practical Thinking; Managing Projects IntegrationConnecting Ideas, People, and Realms of Life Human DimensionLearning about Oneself and Others CaringDeveloping New Feelings, Interests, and Values Learning How to Learn Becoming a Better Student; Inquiring About a Subject; Self-directing Learners (Fink 2003)

6 Irene TAN INTERESTS ARE NOT CAST IN STONE Interests can be acquired and they can change (Bandura, 1986, Wade, 2001) This is helpful from the perspective of teaching chemistry… we can stimulate, maintain and stabilise our students' interests Interest can be increased or intensified (Streller & Bolte, 2012)

7 Irene TAN CHEMISTRY TEACHERS COULD inspire students to explore and discuss about chemistry by challenging them to create effective solutions for real- life problems; incorporate scientific method, including how to make observations, collect and record data, interpret and draw conclusions; infuse fun investigations, demonstrate chemical reactions, invite students to carry inquiry and presenting their learning; and lead field trips to a local companies or places of scientific interests to help students understand how Chemistry impacts their lives.

8 Irene TAN SOME EXAMPLES OF ASSIGNMENTS These will help the students appreciate what they learn in the subject and provide them an opportunity to delve deep into an area that matters to them.

9 Irene TAN ASSIGNMENT: A GREAT CHEMIST WHO is he (or she)? WHAT was his or her work about? WHAT was one of his or her greatest achievement? WHAT was his or her philosophy? Relate an interesting episode in his or her life. WHAT have I learnt from this project? Suggestion for implementation: at start of the subject at Secondary three

10 Irene TAN ASSIGNMENT: A USEFUL CHEMICAL Look for products people use in their daily life – Food: canned food, preserved fruits – Drinks: canned or bottled drinks – Toiletries: perfume, shampoo, detergent – Containers: bottles, foam cups, containers Study the product label carefully and identify ONE chemical in it – Acid or Alkali or Base or Salt (NaCl: not to be used because it is too common) Suggestion for implementation: at start of the topic “Acids, Bases & Salts”

11 Irene TAN ASSIGNMENT: A USEFUL CHEMICAL In less than 300 words, explain the following: – WHAT is the product? – WHAT is the product used for? WHO uses this product? – WHAT is the chemical in this product? – What is the purpose of this chemical in the product? – WHERE do you get it from? – WHAT IF this product is not used? – WHAT have I learnt? Suggestion for implementation: at start of the topic “Acids, Bases & Salts”

12 Irene TAN ASSIGNMENT: A USEFUL CHEMICAL In less than 100 words, write down what you have learnt from this mini-research. Submit your assignment in – PowerPoint (max 5 slides); – Prezi; – Animated video (no more than 5 minutes); – Blog; or – Any other ICT means.

13 Irene TAN Design a 1-page summary for each of the element assigned to you on an A4-sized paper Essential information is shown on the right Draw as colourfully as you can All info must be accurate Hand in your draft for check ASSIGNMENT Suggestion for implementation: at start of the topic “Periodic Table” _Pics_Simple_200x153.png

14 Irene TAN A SERIOUS CHEMICAL DISASTER WHAT happened? WHEN did this happen? WHERE was this? WHY did this happen? WHO was/were responsible? WHAT have I learnt from this incident? Suggestion for implementation: at start of the subject at Secondary three

15 Irene TAN REFLECTION QUESTIONS Who was responsible for the disaster? What could have been done to prevent the disaster from happening? If you were there, what would you have done? How can you apply what you have learned to your daily life as a person?

16 Irene TAN AN EXAMPLE OF STUDENTS’ WORK This is the presentation by a group of 5 secondary three students. Their work was so outstanding that they were invited to share at the school’s assembly.


18 India, Bhopal (Central India) Roughly 580 km south of India’s capital, New Delhi Population of 1.5 million Pesticide Plant owned by Union Carbide Corp, a US company WHERE DID IT HAPPEN? content/uploads/2011/11/bhopal-gas- disaster.jpg


20 FORMULA FOR DISASTER… Factory built in a densely populated area Union Carbide Corporation chose to cut cost in two major areas: Staff Reduce Staff — no. of staff was too small Reduce Training — staff not sufficiently trained in safety procedures Maintenance Critical equipment was not properly maintained or repaired

21 Vent Gas Scrubber Leaking gas could have been detoxified but scrubber was turned off to cut production cost Flare Tower Designed to turn off gas but a connecting pipe was removed for maintenance Water Curtain Not high enough to reach gas MIC Storage Tanks Over 40 tonnes of MIC & water leakage caused excessive production of heat Refrigeration System Cooling system was shut down in June 1984 to cut cost of production A DISASTER BREWING…

22 Night of Death Life was calm and normal before the “Night of Death” Bhopal, 2 nd Dec 1984

23 Mushaira: A community performance Restaurants were packed with people Wedding ceremonies all round the city

24 Night of Death That night, people of Bhopal retired as usual… Little did they know they would wake up to breathlessness, burning eyes & a toxic cloud Panic, fear, horror and death were to fill the night

25 DISASTER STRUCK… The air inside the factory was charged with panic and fear The under-trained staff knew that there was a leak in one of the tanks which held more than 40 tonnes of toxic chemical The city was asleep… They switched off the siren… for fear of “waking people unnecessarily” Over half a million people was to be subjected to one of the most horrific events in the history of industrial disasters There was no where to run…

26 Toxic gas escaped into the air and blew over the city by wind… The entire sky of Bhopal was covered with deadly chemical gases Death descended from the night sky

27 Factory owned by UC was running at a loss UC wanted to cut production cost Cut down on regular maintenance Nov 1984: Safety systems shut down …water flowed into the MIC tank (E610) Senior staff were alerted 2 Dec 1984: from a corroded pipe… Decision: switch off the siren Did not want to alarm the community Exposure to water = uncontrolled reaction Increased temp & pressure MIC tanks exploded

28 WHAT IS MIC? H  H  C  N═C═O  H Methyl isocyanate (MIC) Formula H 3 C-N=C=O. Hazardous organic compound Used in the making of pesticide

29 Skin  chemical burns & sores Stomach  pains leading to shock Reproductive problems Lung  permanent damage Vomiting & breathing problems Eyes  severe pain, may lead to blindness Increased infant mortality, cancer, genetic defects, liver & kidney failure

30 THE AFTERMATH The release of MIC into the air killed thousands of people 8000 had died from direct toxic exposure 500,000 others were injured Making Bhopal a huge graveyard

31 THE MORNING AFTER… Dead on the street… There was nowhere to run The toxic fumes covered an area larger than 20 km 2

32 On the roadside, near hospital… Hundreds of bodies lying in the open

33 Innocent children dead from over- exposure to the toxic gases PEEyrStPlqg/s1600/Bhopal%2BRaghu%2BRai%2Bchildren.jpg

34 Skulls of the unclaimed dead at the local hospital left uncollected /Bhopal_India.jpg

35 THE AFTERMATH… Factory was shut down 3 senior staff arrested Warren Anderson, Chairman of Union Carbide at the time was charged in court for HOMICIDE The charge: “ cost-cutting at the factory is alleged to have heavily compromised safety standards ”

36 TODAY… 23 YRS AFTER THE GAS LEAK Bhopal is still a toxic site the old factory hasn't been cleaned up 20,000 more died as a result of the disaster through the years 3 to 5 people die of related illnesses each month Bodies keep piling The old factory is still sitting in Bhopal, deteriorating over the years. No one is cleaning up.

37 TODAY… 23 YRS AFTER THE GAS LEAK > 25,000 tons of contaminated material remain Poorly stored in bags & buried in unmarked pits Toxins have seeped into the underground water source The child here is seen pumping underground water contaminated by toxins but this is all they have al_2009_all_rights_reserved181.jpg

38 ANGER… TILL TODAY 1989: UC’s paid $470 million to the Indian Government for damages $370 to $533 per victim… Too little for medical bills 2001: Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemicals Since the merger, Dow Chemicals has refused to assume responsibilities

39 People staged protests every year on 3 Dec e jpg%3Fw%3D300%26h%3D240

40 People staged protests every year on 3 Dec

41 If it (Union Carbide) had thought about those poor, innocent people and not just about making profits, nothing like this would have happened. I think this chemical disaster could be avoided if the company had been responsible enough to put in place an effective safety system.

42 I learnt that observing safety precautions is the most important of all. I feel really sorry for those who have died in the disaster. Some victims only received their compensations in yrs after the disaster. It was too little, too late and it had killed many, many people.

43 SAFETY PRECAUTION IS STILL THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!!! I think this chemical disaster can be avoided if the company had put in effort in building up the safety system… and not be just think about making profit.

44 I do not understand why companies like Union Carbide can risk so many lives just to cut costs. The research on this disaster has taught me many things. The most important is RESPONSIBILITY I feel that if they were responsible, this disaster would not have happened. I felt a deep anger & hurt when I saw this photo. content/uploads/2011/01/Bhopal_Gas_Tragedy.jpg

45 To every mother of Bhopal who lost a child on the Night of Death This statue was placed in the town centre of Bhopal, Date, unknown. Sculptor, unknown. ulum/environmental justicefiles/images/ pics/image009.jpg


47 Sadker & Sadker (1977) I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness… Concentration camps built by engineers… Infants killed by educated physicians… Help our students understand to become human… Shared by Keynote Speaker Professor Berowitz (TC, 2014)

48 Haber, Fritz , German Chemist

49 He was a Professor of Physical Chemistry at Karlsruhe and the Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute at Dahlem in During World War I he directed Germany's chemical warfare activities, which included the introduction of poison gas (chlorine); and supervised its initial deployment on the Western Front at Ypres, Belgium, in 1915.

50 His promotion of this frightening chemical weapon triggered the suicide of his wife, who was herself a Chemist. Many in the Science community condemned him for his war time role. There was great concern when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1918 for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements.

51 Nobel, Alfred , Swedish Chemist His younger brother died in an accident while he performed an experiment involving highly explosive chemicals.

52 ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO Which is the best way to transport fuels? In solid, liquid or gaseous state? Why?

53 VALUE-BASED SCENARIO Should I advise my client to transport fuel in the solid form so that I can make more profit out of that?

54 ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO Why are we able to detect smell? (beside obvious biological reasons)

55 VALUE-BASED SCENARIO Should I cut cost so as to increase profit margin by excluding the smell additive from fuel?

56 Importance of density in everyday life. ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO

57 What my customers do not know would not harm them. Can I mix pure gold with some cheaper metal? VALUE-BASED SCENARIO

58 Rusting is an everyday problem. Let us find out how to go about preventing iron from rusting. ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO

59 I can get away with using less expensive materials. People would not know until the pieces start rusting and by then I would be gone. VALUE-BASED SCENARIO

60 What is the everyday application of an extremely exothermic reaction? (such as Thermite Reaction) ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO

61 Soldering can also “mend the track” and it involves less manpower and saves cost. It is an effective way to increase profit margin for my railway maintenance company. Is it true? VALUE-BASED SCENARIO

62 Recycle because natural resources are limited & and finite ORIGINAL PROBLEM SCENARIO

63 Why do we need to recycle? What if we don’t? What can I do about it? VALUE-BASED SCENARIO

64 Reported in Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest grain elevator, the DeBruce Grain elevator was located southwest of Wichita, Kansas. Explosion of DeBruce Grain Elevator Wichita, Kansas (8 June 1998) elevator- ators/ge35.jpg

65 Explosion of DeBruce Grain Elevator - Wichita, Kansas The cause of explosion was due to an explosive mixture of powdered grain (fuel) and air (oxidiser) in a closed space and an ignition Badly damaged silos


67 WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science Curriculum Framework

68 Contexts Personal Local/national Global Competencies Explain phenomena Evaluate and design scientific enquiry Interpret data and evidence scientifically Require individuals to display SCIENCE LITERACY (PISA, 2015) How an individuals does this is influenced by Knowledge Content Procedural Epistemic Attitudes Interest in science Valuing scientific approaches to enquiry Environmental awareness

69 The cure for boredom is CURIOSITY. There is NO CURE FOR CURIOSITY. Dorothy Parker

70 I have no special talent. I am only ALBERT EINSTEIN passionately curious.


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