Central Division Meeting

Event Information

Event Venue: 
President’s Hall, Mazzaferro Center, Fitchburg State University
Event Date: 
Sat, 05/04/2013
Event Program: 

Presenters Dr. Cheryl Coolidge and Dr. Shari Litch Gray  have developed a collection of guided inquiry activities designed for use in a Chemistry in Art course for nonscience majors at the college level, although these would also be appropriate for use with motivated high school students.  The inspiration for these activities was the Chemistry and Art workshop offered by the NSF sponsored cCWCS and begun by Dr. Patricia Hill of Millersville University.  PDPs or CEUs will be available for workshop attendees.
9:30 am                      Arrival, registration, light breakfast (coffee and muffins/doughnuts)
10:00 – 12:00            Chemistry in Art - Presentation and workshop on guided inquiry materials for a course for non-science majors in college or an advanced high school course
12:00 – 1:00 pm        Light lunch (sponsored by Central Mass Section of the American Chemical Society)
1:00 – 2:00                 NEACT Annual Meeting.
Please RSVP to Mel Govindan via email ( or phone (978.660.8831) so that we can have an approximate count for ordering food.
The activities are based on the POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) model, first introduced by faculty members at Franklin and Marshall College and now used by over 1000 high school and college faculty members to “to ensure that all students are fully engaged in the learning process.  POGIL activities focus on core concepts and encourage a deep understanding of the course material while developing higher-order thinking skills. POGIL develops process skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication through cooperation and reflection...” ( )
In addition to the benefits of the POGIL model, which helps students to develop their own understanding of concepts while working as a member of a learning team, these activities place chemical concepts within a context that is appealing and interesting to students outside of the classical science disciplines. Hopefully this course would  encourage students who would never voluntarily take a course in chemistry to enroll in this course as a science elective.
During the presentation, there will be opportunity to discuss the various activities that have been developed, including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  1. What is light?
  2. Why are objects colored?
  3. What is the difference between organic and inorganic chemicals, and what are they used for?
  4. What are pigments?  What is the history of pigment use?
  5. What are dyes?
  6. How are paints made?
  7. What is the difference between additive and subtractive color mixing?
  8. How is redox chemistry used by artists?
  9. How is acid base chemistry used by artists?
  10. What are glass and ceramics made of?
  11. How does classical photography work?



Parking: Ross Street Lot (#11 on Campus Map at the intersection of North St. and Ross St., (  To get to Mazzaferro Center from the parking lot, turn left on Ross St. , walk about 50 yards to Highland Ave. Turn right and you will soon see a pedestrian plaza and Mazzaferro Center is a small building on your left right after the gazebo (formerly Newman Center)