Undergraduate & Graduate

Our higher-ed educational resources are crafted to support university students and faculty in implementing and sharing green chemistry in curriculum. 

Safer Chemical Design Game

The game was designed to introduce students to safer chemical design concepts that are focused on the manipulation of molecule parameters in order to minimize the undesired biological and environmental interactions of a hypothetical commercial chemical. The game scenarios model the decision making process used by professionals to design a new chemical. Critically, the computer game simulates the real-world constraints that may affect chemical product development as the student designs a novel product. The students (players) are presented with the challenge of designing a safe, and more sustainable chemical product using multi-criteria decision analysis. Players are presented with the challenge of creating a molecule by changing molecular parameters to achieve the optimal result, and while doing so, navigate trade-offs that result from their choices. Different molecular parameter combinations can be tested, generating qualitative outputs related to toxicity, biodegradability, biotransformation, and overall performance.  Each level was divided into three sub-levels, namely, human toxicity, aquatic toxicity and performance, and each has a task that requires completion. 

MoDRN: U Modules

The MoDRN Team has put together a set of modules for undergraduate chemistry, biology, and environmental science classrooms (and beyond!) to introduce concepts of green chemistry and sustainable chemical design. These are called MoDRN:U Modules. The overall goal of these materials is to engage undergraduate students with educational activities that will aid dissemination of scientific principles relevant to the design of safer, next-generation molecules. Integrating MoDRN:U Modules into existing undergraduate lesson plans will allow students to make more connections with how interdisciplinary these topics truly are. The modules allow students to be introduced briefly to related physiochemical properties and toxicity topics, while providing faculty with resources for more information for their students. There are learning objectives for each module as well as a small assignment designed to be used in or out of class to assess comprehension (but not overwhelm time and syllabi schedules). The following MoDRN:U Modules are free to use and modify. Please return back frequently for new modules to come.

Multidisciplinary collaboration between chemists, toxicologists, engineers and biologists from four different universities, MoDRN (Molecular Design Research Network) scientists aim to develop a systematic approach to understand and design chemicals that are both efficacious in their own right and chemically benign to the environment. The founding principle of MoDRN was derived from the 4th Principle of Green Chemistry, which states, “chemical products should be designed to preserve efficacy of function while minimizing toxicity”. With such strong collaborations with experts from different areas, it becomes possible to develop chemicals with the desired properties and predictable toxicity, and MoDRN serves as the important platform to achieve that goal.

Green Chemistry Videos

The MoDRN Team and Paul Anastas have put together videos to introduce concepts of green chemistry to design and synthesize safer chemicals with less impact. These videos are designed to look at science behind environmental problems and to understand how green chemistry can help to solve them. Students can explore areas where green chemistry was successfully applied and where the lack of green chemistry systems thinking led to unintended consequences.