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Internship as a Capstone Experience for Chemistry Students


Abstract

In the project, the Chemistry Department proposed to establish an internship program for chemistry undergraduate students to gain experience of the chemical industry and government organizations. Students would participate in the internship program as a form of experiential learning as prescribed by the Science Faculty. The Chemistry Department also would set up formal mechanisms to assess student learning at the conclusion of the internship.

The project has been completed successfully. Fifteen Year-2 students and two Year-3 students participated in the pilot internship program in the summer of 2008 (from the end of May to midAugust, 2008). Five companies and institutions offered chemistry-related summer placements for the students.

The Year-2 students also enrolled in the course “CHEM3988 Chemistry Internship”, a new course of the Faculty of Science on experiential learning. At the end of the summer placement, the performance of the students was evaluated by their supervisors in the workplace and by teachers of Chemistry Department. The feedback from the supervisors was generally positively and favorable. At the end of the summer, students submitted an essay on their internship experience. Students also shared their internship experience and gave presentation in a workshop.

The enrollment of CHEM3988 Chemistry Internship was 31 students in 2009 and 21 students in 2010.

Principal Investigator

Professor D.L. Phillips, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceContact

Project level

Faculty-level project

Project Completion

January 2009

Deliverables

  1. The Chemistry Department has set up the pilot internship program successfully. Students worked in chemistry-related industry or research institution in the summer to gain the capstone experience as required by the Science Faculty.
  2. The Chemistry Department has established a protocol of student enrollment and evaluation for CHEM3988 Chemistry Internship. The Department also has set up unofficial link with some companies for future student placements for the internship program.
  3. We have also shared our experience in setting up internship programs with colleagues of the Faculty of Science. We have made recommendation on the strategy of internship arrangement and the outcome statements and evaluation form of internship courses of the Science Faculty.

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