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RiSE Colloquium: Mitchell Bruce

November 29, 2021 @ 3:00 pm4:00 pm

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
Colloquia & Seminar Series


Mitchell Bruce, RiSE Center and Dept. of Chemistry, University of Maine
Monday, November 29, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Barrows Hall 119 and Zoom

Making Chemical Reasoning Accessible


Mitchell Bruce, Alice Bruce, Joe Walter
RiSE and Chemistry, University of Maine, Orono, ME

The use of models is a key component in the Next Generation Science Standards, yet there is evidence that intuitive representations strongly rooted in diverse knowledge domains are difficult to modify through instruction. This is a particular challenge in teaching chemistry where representations are frequently used in explanations of chemical concepts. This talk will focus on a reasoning process that facilitates making connections between macroscopic and submicroscopic domains using experimental evidence, which we will refer to as creating representation. This is a particular type of reasoning that has played a critical role in chemistry, enabling numerous scientific advancements and discoveries. Yet, the skill of creating representation is often not explicitly addressed in our introductory classrooms or laboratories.  Some research results will be shared to illustrate how chemical reasoning can be supported making this reasoning process accessible even for novice undergrad students.


Mitchell Bruce is a Professor of Chemistry and a founding member of the RiSE Center at the University of Maine. Mitchell earned his BS degree in chemistry from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He went on to earn his PhD in chemistry from Columbia University, followed by a postdoc at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. As a chemical education researcher, Mitchell is interested in fostering the skill of thinking at the atomic scale, teacher professional learning workshops involving inquiry to build connections to atomic scale phenomena, and strategies involving active-learning, assessment, and problem-solving. He is currently participating in the NSF sponsored STEM+C and CORE-UMaine projects.

Learn more…

To be added to the Colloquium email list and receive the Zoom link, please email the RiSE Center:

To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Natasha Speer by email or phone: 207.581.3937.


November 29, 2021
3:00 pm–4:00 pm
Event Category: