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New Methods Teach Science By Observation, Hypothesis

Those just starting out are being trained to think like scientists to keep more of them interested and unlikely to switch majors Standing before the 2,000 students enrolled in his introductory chemistry course at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., chemist George Bodner mixes two flasks of chemicals. Through the exhaustive exchange of questions and answers that follows, Bodner forces this throng of young scientists to "invent" the concept of molarity long before any of them has read in

Diana Morgan
Those just starting out are being trained to think like scientists to keep more of them interested and unlikely to switch majors
Standing before the 2,000 students enrolled in his introductory chemistry course at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., chemist George Bodner mixes two flasks of chemicals. Through the exhaustive exchange of questions and answers that follows, Bodner forces this throng of young scientists to "invent" the concept of molarity long before any of them has read in a textbook how to determine the molecular concentration of a substance in a solution.

"My goal in chemistry is to try to help students learn the ability to think the way chemists think," says Bodner (see Close-Up on page 8). "Most of what I teach consists of styles of problems: How do you recognize what a problem is? How do you know where to start and when you have solved it...

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