What Is ChemPRIME?

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ChemPRIME (Chemical Principles through Integrated Multiple Exemplars) is designed so that chemistry concepts can be presented in an order that reflects the conceptual structure of the discipline and students are able to learn chemistry within a broad range of contexts that relate chemistry to other disciplines and everyday life. ChemPRIME is a collaborative project in which concepts and contexts can be contributed by anyone to a wiki and used free of charge by anyone for non-commercial purposes.

In ChemPRIME, students can choose from a wide variety of “exemplars”—subject-specific examples that illustrate each concept. Exemplars are arranged in “tracks” that run through the entire course. One track, CoreChem, contains most of the topics and concepts included in a typical general chemistry course; topics are arranged by headings similar to textbook chapter titles and subheadings similar to textbook chapter sections. In addition to CoreChem, tracks include

  • Geology;
  • Physics and Astronomy;
  • Everyday Life;
  • Foods;
  • Sports, Physiology and Health;
  • Biology;
  • Culture (history, arts);
  • Environmental/Green chemistry and sustainability;
  • Forensics.

ChemPRIME applies the tools of chemistry to issues or subjects that students are interested in, retaining a hierarchical development of concepts while allowing students to choose cases or applications of the concepts that motivate them to learn. ChemPRIME offers an opportunity to integrate frontier developments in chemistry into the curriculum while reflecting the field’s increasing contributions to other disciplines.

You can see a good example of the ChemPRIME approach by clicking on “Introduction: The Ambit of Chemistry” in the menu at the right. Then click on “Conversion Factors and Functions” to reveal a list of tracks. Click on any of the listed tracks to find one or more exemplars for Conversion Factors and Functions. Finally click on an exemplar to view its text and other content.

ChemPRIME is being developed as a MediaWiki® text in combination with the course management system Moodle®. Both MediaWiki® and Moodle® are open source, making the project readily available and adaptable by others. ChemPRIME is being disseminated through the Chemical Education Digital Library, a Pathway in the National Science Digital Library, and will draw upon and contribute to the various disciplines designated as NSDL Pathways.

ChemPRIME encourages your participation in any or all of these ways:

  • Use ChemPRIME in your classes;
  • Edit exemplars or CoreChem sections;
  • Contribute exemplars;
  • Add new CoreChem topics.

To learn more about how to participate in ChemPRIME, visit the Collaborating with ChemPRIME page.

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