Molecular Modeling as a Self-taught-component of a Conventional Undergraduate Chemical-Reaction-Engineering Course
We inserted a self-taught molecular modeling project into an otherwise conventional undergraduate chemical-reaction-engineering course. Our objectives were that students should (a) learn with minimal instructor intervention, (b) gain an appreciation for the relationship between molecular structure and, first, macroscopic state functions in chemical thermodynamics, and then rate constants and activation energies in kinetics, and (c) retain a longer term memory of that self-taught material than is likely with textbook material. This worked successfully. We found that both the students, and an instructor that is totally inexperienced in molecular modeling, can learn enough within a few hours to do simple kinetics problems.