LeRoy A. McGrew

LeRoy McGrew

Retired from the Department of Chemistry
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423

E-mail: lcmcgrew@nemr.net

Degrees

  • B.S, 1960, Knox College
  • M.S., 1963
  • Ph.D., 1964, The University of Iowa

Research Interests

My areas of scholarly interest include chemical education, chemical literacy, chemistry as a component of liberal education, and improvement of physical science education in the middle and lower grades. The primary interest in chemical education is in the two-semester course in organic chemistry. A problem with organic is the wide variety of students that it must serve and the preparatory role that it plays in the programs of non-chemistry majors. Preparation for the study of biochemistry is critical for many students. Examination of the relationship of organic and biological chemistry has resulted in the identification of conceptual themes of life which may be emphasized in the organic course. These themes, which involve molecular structure, oxidation-reduction reactions, energy conservation and utilization, the hydrophobic effect, and the organization of complex syntheses, may be used to improve the organic course in its own right, as well as in its role as preparation for the study of biochemistry.

Another project involves the investigation of a computer drawing program for the preparation of chemistry graphics. A PC drawing program has the advantage of being relatively fast and easy to learn, to the point that graphics templates can be made for the standard types of organic structure representation. Using such techniques it has been possible to make effective supplemental study materials and slides.

An interest in grade school science education has led to a partnership with a local school. Activities of the partnership have involved professor visits to the grade school, student field trips to the chemistry department laboratories, and programs for teachers. An Eisenhower grant was obtained last year for the purpose of providing equipment and instruction in scientific measurement for the grade school teachers. Much of the work of this project has been involved with preparing materials for hands-on student laboratory activities and for upgrading teachers through work with science concepts and techniques.

Selected Publications

A 60-Second Course in Organic Chemistry, J. Chem. Educ. 1993, 70, 543.

Conceptual Themes in Organic and Biological Chemistry, Chemistry for the Health Professions: Proceedings of the August, 1992 Symposium, American Chemical Society, 1993, pp. 47-58.

Teaching Redox and Energy Transfer in Organic and Biological Chemistry, Chemistry for the Health Professions: Proceedings of the August, 1993 Symposium, American Chemical Society. In press.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Northern Iowa
1227 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
Phone: 319-273-2437
FAX: 319-273-7127
E-mail: barbara.reid@uni.edu
Web: http://www.chem.uni.edu

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