Teaching Interests

Various avenues for rewarding teaching experiences are available at the University of Oregon.

Graduate Education in Science: Teaching Through Research

Undergraduate Research: Hands on Science

Curiosity and Kids: Helping Kids Enjoy and Engage in Science

Taking the SIGH out of Science: Developing Courses in Science Literacy



Working with graduate students on a daily basis as they develop into scientific leaders in their field is an enormously rewarding experience. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to provide the initial seeds of a research idea for the student, to provide the experimental and intellectual tools needed to carry out the research, to encourage and support the student to achieve their highest level of accomplishment, to allow the student to grow to be an independent and creative thinker, and to celebrate their accomplishments at every opportunity. While at the University of Oregon I have had the pleasure to have worked with some spectacular graduate students and postdoctoral associates.



One of the most successful means of determining whether an undergraduate student is interested in pursuing a career in experimental science is to allow them the opportunity to work in a research laboratory during their undergraduate years. This can be an enormously valuable experience which the college curriculum does not generally provide for the student. While in this laboratory setting they can learn the process of identifying a scientific topic which would benefit from further exploration, designing experiments to better understand this scientific issue, conducting experiments to provide insight into the topic, analyze the experimental results, draw conclusions from the results about the scientific topic being examined, and summarize the effort in written form which can be transmitted to the scientific community. Undergraduates have always been a part of the Richmond research effort with the participants over the years.

Here at the University of Oregon I direct a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Chemical Physics/Materials Science, which is supported by the National Science Foundation. We take in local students and students from around the country to be involved in this 10 week summer program. The students work in faculty members' laboratories, alongside other graduate students and postdoctoral associates in these laboratories. If you are interested in being a part of this program or know of a student who would like to join us, please visit the website or email chayden@darkwing.uoregon.edu.



Kids will do the darndest things...
Many of us in the Science Departments at the University of Oregon are involved in K-12 outreach programs for kids in our local school system. Pictured below are scenes taken at local schools in which faculty from the chemistry and physics departments from UO have worked with elementary school teachers and their students to understand the basic concepts behind physical and chemical phenomena around them. Kudos to the great group of curious kids that we have been fortunate to work with over the years.



Science in Society
Another area of interest is teaching science to the undergraduate student who either chooses not to pursue a scientific degree or who, for whatever reason, has previously had a minimum of science education in their background. This group of students represents the majority of our undergraduates. Although these students have not followed the traditional scientific path, they are very interested in being able to understand scientific issues which impact their everyday lives. Such issues include nuclear power and warfare, genetics, chemical food additives, toxins, organic foods, drugs and medicines and health and fitness. I have been involved in the past few years in designing and teaching such a course in the Chemistry Department called "Science and Society." For more information about the course, contact me at richmond@oregon.uoregon.edu.

One day of the term is spent celebrating all the fun and showy demonstrations that can be done using simple chemical and physical principles. The stars of this show are the Richmond Research Group. - and Witch Nasal.




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