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Journal of Chemical Education features new curriculum developed by WVU researchers

Journal of Chemical EducationThe work of several West Virginia University researchers from the Davis College Division of Plant and Soil Sciences and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences was recently featured on the front cover of the Journal of Chemical Education. Their article, "Demonstrating the Effect of Surfactant on Water Retention of Waxy Leaf Surfaces," reports on their development of chemistry and biology lab curriculum. This curriculum development, led primarily by Kang Mo Ku, assistant professor of horticulture in the Davis College Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, and his graduate research assistant, Yu-Chun Chiu, is both inexpensive and accessible to undergraduate students, albeit not limited exclusively to them, as it is also accessible to middle school and high school students. The curriculum allows all students to gain hands-on learning experience while using technology with which they are quite familiar -- their own smartphones.

collard leaf
The article, published in Vol. 94, Issue 2, of the Journal of Chemical Education, outlines how this curriculum "can help students learn about the scientific method and the role of plant epicuticular waxes and surfactant function on waxy plant leaves as real life example in the agricultural industry." Treated and non-treated collard leaves are used to demonstrate the function of surfactant. 

West Virginia University researchers and coauthors:
  • Yu-Chun Chiu, doctoral student and graduate research assistant, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences
  • Matthew Jenks, director and professor of plant and soil sciences
  • Kang Mo Ku, assistant professor of horticulture
  • Betsy Ratcliff, teaching associate professor, general chemistry coordinator, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry
  • Michelle Richards-Babb, associate professor and director, Office of Undergraduate Research, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry
In conjunction with their article, they created the video below, demonstrating each experiment.


-WVU- 
nl/3/27/17

CONTACT: Nikky Luna, WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design 304-293-2394; Nikky.Luna@mail.wvu.edu