Using a Faculty-Developed Documentary-Style Film to Communicate Authentic Chemistry Research to a High School Audience

by Burgin, Stephen R.; Sakamaki, Yoshie; Tsuji, Miu; Watson, Olivia; Heidrick, Zachary; Chitwood, Timothy; Benamara, Mourad; Martin, Elizabeth M.; Childress, Michelle; Beyzavi, M. Hassan


Described is the creation, deployment, and evaluation of a video produced about the synthesis and applications of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). The goal of this project was to gauge the impact of viewing the video on high school students' conceptions of authentic chemistry practices and applications. Additionally, comparisons were made between the use of the video and more traditional face-to-face presentations given by professional scientists. Observations, student surveys, and an interview with the high school chemistry teacher demonstrated the utility of such a video. Specifically, the students who viewed the video reported learning more about the nature of laboratory work in chemistry than other students who did not view the video. Students, regardless of whether they viewed the video or just received a presentation, reported growth in understandings of the applications of chemistry research and porous nanomaterial. Other research chemists are encouraged to consider ways that they could document on video the research that they are performing in order to introduce an untapped audience (high school students) to authentic chemistry research in a practically simple manner. During times of crisis, such as a pandemic, online videos could be a useful tool for high school chemistry teachers to use in collaboration with research faculty, particularly when schools are closed.

Journal of Chemical Education
Start Page
0021-9584; 1938-1328