Taking Organic Chem? Check out Orgo Prep; Sign-ups begin Jan 30

Last week we started a new series on our blog.  We have a lot of programs at the ERC and while our website does a good job of explaining them we thought you might be interested in hearing from some of the student leaders who make these programs possible.  Here the peer tutors/leaders from the ERC describe their programs, who they are for, and what a typical meeting is like.

In our second installment we have one of our Orgo Prep Leaders, Andrew Lai.  He’ll give you an idea about the way the program works and hopefully get you excited to sign up for Orgo Prep on January 30th.

The fall semester of Organic Chemistry is creeping up–it’s hard to believe. Even the thought of taking Orgo next year is stressful, isn’t it? Luckily, starting January 30, 2012, you can register for the Spring 2012 Orgo Prep program!

The plan is to start the curriculum with a brief introduction to nomenclature and stereochemistry. It’s a great way to ease into the more difficult concepts such as Infrared Spectroscopy (which we will cover!).

I think what is so effective about Orgo Prep is that it is a peer-to-peer learning environment. After having taken organic chemistry and having taught with Orgo Prep for two years, I can’t wait to pass on the little tricks I have for remembering things like E/Z and S/R Configurations.

Many of the concepts seem abstract or like they lack real-world applications. Let me shed a little light by example: when a manufacturer synthesizes the compound ibuprofen, two compounds are actually purified into the pill that we swallow to make the pain go away. The only distinction between the two compounds is the “S” or “R” configuration. So who cares? In fact, one happens to be the effective pain-killer, while the other can cause fetal mutations. By week 4 of the OrgoPrep program, we will have taught you how to distinguish the two. (By the way, manufacturers don’t bother separating the two–it’s why the bottle of pills costs $6 instead of $20.)

Anyway, that’s just a taste of the things we hope to share through the OrgoPrep program. As Orgo Prep Leaders, Greg and I have been working hard adapting our curriculum to fit the new changes made in the CH 203 fall course. We and the rest of the Orgo Prep Leaders are extremely excited for this upcoming semester! Hope to see you all then!

Andrew Lai, CAS ’12
Orgo Prep Leader

One Comment

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