Victoria Hill

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Amy Flanagan Johnson, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Gregg Wilmes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cory Emal, Ph.D.


A polymer-pollution-focused laboratory sequence was written to teach general chemistry concepts in a course for pre-service elementary teachers. Students experienced the difficulties related to polymer pollution clean-up and made bio-based materials to see possible alternatives. In order to determine whether this laboratory sequence changed student understanding of the importance of polymers and their environmental impact, student opinions were gathered with pre/post-course sequence surveys, observations, post-laboratory surveys, and focus group interviews. These same data collection methods were also used to determine the likelihood that the pre-service elementary teachers would teach these polymer and environmental laboratories or their concepts in the future. This study provided pre-service teachers with the knowledge and curriculum to teach about polymers and their subsequent pollution and then determined the effectiveness of the course material.