Department of Chemistry
West Chester University
Office: 119 Schmucker
Science Center South
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2631
Fax (610) 436-2890
Email: Department Chair
The Department was awarded $39,000 from the State System of Higher Education Instructional Technology fund (funded by student fees) to set up a computerized laboratory for general chemistry courses. This equipment was introduced in the Spring 2004 semester, and the lab curriculum revised to take advantage of the new capabilities. In 2011, these computers were upgraded and replaced with new units. More than 500 students from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Public Health, Sports Medicine, and many others now take these courses each year.
All undergraduate laboratories feature computerized data acquisition. The MicroLAB interface, which is used in many instances, has an integral 10 color LED scanning colorimeter, an integrated pressure sensor, three integrated timers, a pH probe, a temperature probe, a drop counter, and provision for many other probes and accessories. The ability to automatically collect data, which is then processed by the student, focuses them on the experimental concepts rather than the transcription of numbers.
Classrooms in the chemistry building, Schmucker Science Center South, have been updated to include state of the art audio visual equipment including smart boards. The equipment allows professors to utilize PowerPoint and other programs for their lectures, in addition to the traditional chalkboard or white board. There is even a grand lecture hall available with theatre style seating for larger lecture sections. This upgrade allows for enhanced viewing of tables, graphs, diagrams and pictures as well as short movie clips and animations.
The chemistry department was also completely upgraded in 2011 has a student computer lab with 24 computers that are available to all students enrolled in chemistry lectures and labs. A printer is also available for students to use to print course related items. This computer lab is sometimes used to show entire lab sections how to use different data analysis programs such as Igor Pro, CrystalMaker, MathCAD, and Excel. The computers in the lab are outfitted with all the popular software that would be necessary for writing reports or completing assignments. There are also other computers available for student use at different locations around campus.