Connecting Green Chemistry, Systems Thinking and the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum

Organizers: Edward Brush, Department of Chemistry, Bridgewater State University; Grace Lasker

The chemistry enterprise must play a central role in addressing the grand challenges of sustainability. This requires a paradigm shift in chemistry education by integrating and scaffolding green chemistry principles and systems thinking throughout the traditional undergraduate chemistry curriculum, including a multidisciplinary context provided through connections with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). There have been numerous concerted efforts to bring these topics into the chemistry curriculum through the: Green Chemistry Roadmap Project, ACS Exams Institute’s Anchoring Concept Content Maps, ACS-CPT Green Chemistry Supplement, IUPAC-STICE group, and Journal of Chemical Education Special Issue on Systems Thinking and Green and Sustainable Chemistry. It is now time for the chemistry education community to come together and leverage these remarkable efforts by outlining a chemistry curriculum that integrates and scaffolds systems thinking, green and sustainable chemistry and the UN SDGs throughout the chemistry curriculum, providing students with the skills and vision to contribute to a sustainable future through chemistry. This symposium will include a combination of invited and contributed talks and an imbedded workshop. The participants will be contributing to a paradigm shift in chemistry education by outlining draft learning goals, content and assessment for a 4-year curriculum that integrates and scaffolds green chemistry, systems thinking and the UN SDGs.