NorthResearch Group

Education and

Outreach

Philosophy

There is a wonderful connection between active research

and engaged teaching. Teaching provides an opportunity

to demonstrate the merits of basic research to both

undergraduate and graduate students and share the

excitement of discovery.  In addition, the skills developed

in teaching at all levels result in tangible benefits on

research. 

Teaching and Curriculum Development

In addition to teaching upper division undegraduate

courses and graduate courses, I enjoy teaching in the First

Year Chemistry Program at A&M and more recently

Freshman Chemistry to our majors with a goal to present

the material in the larger context of

atmospheric/environmental chemistry and sustainability

to demonstrate the relevance of the course work to

modern problems/solutions in our society. As part of this

effort I have given general audience talks on atmospheric

chemistry and have been involved in the development of

lecture and laboratory materials for the program.

I have served as the coordinator of an effort to revitalize

the physical chemistry laboratory in our department,

revising the experiments to better reflect the current state

of physical chemistry research. The outcome, due to the

hard work of many faculty, was a significantly improved

laboratory the quality of the undergraduate experience.

The new course consists of modules centered around

concepts/techniques and more accurately reflect the

current state of physical chemistry research. Topics

including scanning tunneling microscopy, nanoparticles,

single molecule spectroscopy, and solid state NMR allow

students hands-on experience with modern

instrumentation.  Oral examinations and laboratory

reports in ACS Journal format have also been

implemented.

NSF Funded Outreach

In the past have been strongly involved with 2 NSF funded

educational outreach programs during my tenure at Texas

A&M University; PLC-MAP which serves 7th grade through

high school science teachers in the greater Houston area,

and ITS program through a module entitled “A Molecular

View of the Environment”.  The Information technology in

Science (ITS) Center was one of ten NSF Centers for

Teaching and Learning.  The goal of the ITS Program was

to increase the number of science education specialist

working in K-12 classroom and increase the number of

current teachers who seek an advanced degree in science

& mathematics education.  There was a programmatic 

emphasis on the use of information technology and

modeling to do and understand science.  Scientists also

help teachers to see ways in which they can bring real

scientific findings into the K-12 classroom. 

 Community Outreach

Our research group continues to be involved in

educational outreach in the community, participating in

Chemistry Open House and interacting with local school

systems. The group enjoys performing demonstrations

and talking about science and chemistry to all ages.

Chemical Education Publications:

Laura E. Ruebush, Michelle M. Sulikowski, and Simon W.

North, “A Simple Exercise Reveals the Way Students Think

About Scientific Models” Journal of College Science

Teaching 24 (2009).

Laura E. Ruebush and Simon W. North, “The Teaching of

Consecutive First-Order Reaction Kinetics: A Chemical

Education Research Study on the Impact of Hands-On

Demonstrations” Chemical Educator 13, 131 (2008).

Laura E. Ruebush, Ethan L. Grossman, Stephen A. Miller,

Simon W. North, Janie F. Schielack, and eric E. Simanek,

“Introducing Authentic Inquiry to High School Teachers

with Curriculum-relevant Principles During an Intensive

Three-Week Summer Session” School and Science

Mathematics, 109, 162 (2009).

George Lucchese, Robert R. Lucchese, and Simon W.

North, “A New JAVA Program for Graphical Illustration of

the Franck-Condon Principle: Application to the I2

Spectroscopy Experiment in the Undergraduate Physical

Chemistry Laboratory“ Journal of Chemical Education, 87,

345 (2010).

NorthResearch Group

Education and

Outreach

Philosophy

There is a wonderful connection between active research

and engaged teaching. Teaching provides an opportunity

to demonstrate the merits of basic research to both

undergraduate and graduate students and share the

excitement of discovery.  In addition, the skills developed

in teaching at all levels result in tangible benefits on

research. 

Teaching and Curriculum Development

In addition to teaching upper division undegraduate

courses and graduate courses, I enjoy teaching in the First

Year Chemistry Program at A&M and more recently

Freshman Chemistry to our majors with a goal to present

the material in the larger context of

atmospheric/environmental chemistry and sustainability

to demonstrate the relevance of the course work to

modern problems/solutions in our society. As part of this

effort I have given general audience talks on atmospheric

chemistry and have been involved in the development of

lecture and laboratory materials for the program.

I have served as the coordinator of an effort to revitalize

the physical chemistry laboratory in our department,

revising the experiments to better reflect the current state

of physical chemistry research. The outcome, due to the

hard work of many faculty, was a significantly improved

laboratory the quality of the undergraduate experience.

The new course consists of modules centered around

concepts/techniques and more accurately reflect the

current state of physical chemistry research. Topics

including scanning tunneling microscopy, nanoparticles,

single molecule spectroscopy, and solid state NMR allow

students hands-on experience with modern

instrumentation.  Oral examinations and laboratory

reports in ACS Journal format have also been

implemented.

NSF Funded Outreach

In the past have been strongly involved with 2 NSF funded

educational outreach programs during my tenure at Texas

A&M University; PLC-MAP which serves 7th grade through

high school science teachers in the greater Houston area,

and ITS program through a module entitled “A Molecular

View of the Environment”.  The Information technology in

Science (ITS) Center was one of ten NSF Centers for Teaching

and Learning.  The goal of the ITS Program was to increase

the number of science education specialist working in K-12

classroom and increase the number of current teachers who

seek an advanced degree in science & mathematics

education.  There was a programmatic  emphasis on the use

of information technology and modeling to do and

understand science.  Scientists also help teachers to see

ways in which they can bring real scientific findings into the

K-12 classroom. 

 Community Outreach

Our research group continues to be involved in educational

outreach in the community, participating in Chemistry Open

House and interacting with local school systems. The group

enjoys performing demonstrations and talking about science

and chemistry to all ages.

Chemical Education Publications:

Laura E. Ruebush, Michelle M. Sulikowski, and Simon W.

North, “A Simple Exercise Reveals the Way Students Think

About Scientific Models” Journal of College Science Teaching

24 (2009).

Laura E. Ruebush and Simon W. North, “The Teaching of

Consecutive First-Order Reaction Kinetics: A Chemical

Education Research Study on the Impact of Hands-On

Demonstrations” Chemical Educator 13, 131 (2008).

Laura E. Ruebush, Ethan L. Grossman, Stephen A. Miller,

Simon W. North, Janie F. Schielack, and eric E. Simanek,

“Introducing Authentic Inquiry to High School Teachers with

Curriculum-relevant Principles During an Intensive Three-

Week Summer Session” School and Science Mathematics,

109, 162 (2009).

George Lucchese, Robert R. Lucchese, and Simon W. North,

“A New JAVA Program for Graphical Illustration of the Franck-

Condon Principle: Application to the I2 Spectroscopy

Experiment in the Undergraduate Physical Chemistry

Laboratory“ Journal of Chemical Education, 87, 345 (2010).