Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 249–256 | Cite as

School Chemistry vs. Chemistry in Research: An Exploratory Experiment

  • Clarisse L. Habraken
  • Wim Buijs
  • Hens Borkent
  • Willy Ligeon
  • Harry Wender
  • Marijn Meijer


This report describes a study which explores, from the out-of-school student viewpoint, why students are not studying chemistry anymore. In a 2-day stay at a research institution three groups of graduating high school students from different schools, together with their chemistry teacher, were confronted hands-on with molecular modeling in industry and in university. Each of these volunteer students had agreed to write an essay on “School Chemistry Vs. Chemistry in Research.” These essays were evaluated together by the students, the teacher, and the researcher in a meeting at their school. The opinion of the students show that school chemistry does not convey today's chemistry in research and in industry. At the computer screen the students demonstrated their skill in performing molecular modeling experiments. Moreover, at the computer screen, chemistry was fun and easier to understand. Now we begin to see the solution: our students are also our teachers.

out-of-school learning visuospatial talents chemistry school chemistry molecular modeling 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clarisse L. Habraken
    • 1
  • Wim Buijs
    • 2
  • Hens Borkent
    • 3
  • Willy Ligeon
    • 4
  • Harry Wender
    • 5
  • Marijn Meijer
    • 6
  1. 1.Gorlaeus LaboratoryUniversity of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.DSM ResearchThe Netherlands
  3. 3.CAOS/CAMM CenterKatholic University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.AquinocollegeLeidenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.hijcollegeThe Netherlands
  6. 6.NewmancollegeThe Netherlands

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