A novel approach is taken in teaching the core chemical and biological concepts of mass transport properties, specifically diffusion and osmosis, in an investigation-rich unit of instruction spanning fifteen days. The unit is based on the highly successful 5-E, inquiry based approach known as project-based instruction which emphasizes the use of laboratories and interactive discussions. The entire unit will center on a grand challenge which the students will provide a media-based solution for by encompassing the concepts taught in the unit. When introducing these topics in the high school classroom, the instructor must be able to help students understand the basic similarities and differences between diffusion and osmosis as well as provide real world applications for these phenomena. The current unit of instruction employs hands-on activities and physical models allowing students to visualize the processes and effects of diffusion and osmosis. Utilizing inquiry-based guided questions and strategies embedded within the lesson plans, the instructor can probe students for their understanding of mass transport properties. By employing the developed hands-on activities and guided-questioning discussions, students are actively engaged and better equipped to master fundamental concepts which can become a foundation for more advanced topics.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Lester Pesterfield
Biology | Science and Mathematics Education
Patel, Amar, "Semipermeable Membranes, Diffusion, and Osmosis Inquiry: Effective Modeling in a High School Classroom" (2012). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 367.