My Interdisciplinary Study

As part of my belief in the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the learning of science, I decide to conduct some lessons that involve teaching organic chemistry using a thematic approach. I have decided to work on “Fragrance” and hopefully through this theme, I am able to capture students’ engagement in chemistry. After doing some research, these are the modules in my teaching package:

(1) Historical Background of Fragrance and the Role of Chemistry in re-creating ancient royal perfumes.

(2) Language, Literature and science communication.

(3) Common functional groups that are used as notes in perfumes.

(4) Isomerism, chirality and its importance in nature.

(5) features of the olfactory system: Ligand-receptor relationship

(6) Separation techniques – historical development and their uses in the fragrance indistry.

(7) Economic and ethical considerations in science.

Perfumes make us smell good and feel good. Have you ever wondered what chemicals you spray on yourselves when you buy your branded perfumes? Where do perfumes originate? Do you know what you are paying for in your perfumes? What are the constituents in a “feminine” perfume and a “masculine” perfume? Some clues to these questions will be revealed in my interdisciplinary lessons. I am looking forward to my lessons and hopefully the students come with a critical and open mind, and of course, a great sense of humor!


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