Introduction of Macromolecular Science/Polymeric Materials into the Foundational Course in Organic Chemistry

Currently most undergraduate programs in chemistry provide inadequate training in the area of polymeric materials. This despite the fact that these materials are largely responsible by the quality of life that everyone enjoys and that most chemistry graduates, at whatever level they decide to seek employment, will work in a polymer or a polymer-related area. This situation has been recognized by the ACS Committee on Profesional Training. Current committee guidelines contain the expectation that a treatment of polymeric materials will be a part of all foundational courses in chemistry. This is, perhaps, most readily done for the foundational organic chemistry course. Most commercial polymers commonly used by the consuming public are organic in composition and are formed by simple, easily-understood organic reactions. The preparation of polymeric materials can be used to illustrate many of the fundamental concepts of organic chemistry. Inclusion of some treatment of polymeric materials serves to stimulate student interest and enthusiasm for the course and to emphasize the central role that these materials occupy in their daily lives and the overall well-being of society. This volume, a product of an ACS symposium meeting, discusses these materials based on the most current trends and developments, and shows how these trends can be applied to organic chemistry courses.