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Inclusive Outreach Activity Targeting Negative Alternate Conceptions of Chemistry

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-20, 16:16 authored by Alex L. Palmer, Julia P. Sarju
Chemistry outreach has an important role in building trust between scientists, scientific research, and the public. Ensuring that chemistry outreach is relevant and inclusive to diverse participants is necessary to achieve genuine inclusion of individuals from minoritized groups. We describe the design, delivery, and evaluation of an outreach workshop developed to challenge negative alternative conceptions of chemistry, counter chemophobia, and develop critical thinking skills. This was developed with the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion at its core, designed for and delivered to participants from marginalized groups that are underrepresented in the chemical sciences. The approach was informed by critical theory, constructivism, and cognitive load theory. Autobiographical critical reflections, thematic analysis of workshop transcripts, pre- and postquestionnaires, and participant feedback (N = 7, response rate = 100%) were used to evaluate the activity and identify recommendations for practitioners. The activity received positive feedback from participants, who were able to demonstrate identification and critical analysis of chemophobic attitudes.