Integrating Research and Practice in Chemistry Teaching and Learning
The Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching & Learning (CASTeL) today (22nd October) hosted the 35th ChemEd-Ireland conference at Dublin City University with the Kellett group and H2020 ITN project ClickGene involved throughout. The theme of the ChemEd-Ireland conference was “Integrating Research and Practice in Chemistry Teaching and Learning” that allowed chemistry school teachers gain new knowledge in area of chemistry research and in practical research skills. A number of seminars were given at the meeting, including one by Dr. Andrew Kellett on “Inorganic Chemistry in Medicine”. Afterward, teachers had the chance to access our laboratories both in the NICB and NRF buildings, shadowing our postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers in some bioinorganic and synthetic chemistry related experiments. Here they had the opportunity to synthesize Sigman’s salt [Cu(Phenanthroline)2]+ (CuPhen) and learn how this agent acts to damage DNA by free radical oxidation. Furthermore, teachers had an opportunity to learn about ‘Click Chemistry’ promoted by the copper(I)-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction and these reactions represent some of the fundamental science behind the ClickGene project. The teachers experienced some further analytical techniques by using UV-Vis to detect and quantify the presence of various duplex DNA polymers. Finally, a workshop for the detection of DNA oxidative damage by gel-electrophoresis was run within the NICB molecular biological laboratories.