"Green Chemistry" – Sustainable Strategies in Science

Sustainable chemical processes considering organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry as well as biochemistry, chemical analysis and polymer sciences

This project aims at inspiring high school students by the concept of “green chemistry”; it offers a prospect to contribute to recent and ongoing research activities at Vienna University of Technology in order to increase the interest of pupils for physical sciences in general and for chemistry in particular. In addition, this initiative also includes teachers by offering a cooperative high level training for dedicated students as well as by providing material on state-of-the-art research topics for teaching purposes. Participating students will have the opportunity to communicate their work and the research discipline in general to a large audience by using traditional (attending conferences) as well as novel approaches (blogs, interactive web-pages etc.). Individual projects will be set up in a way to include several research teams to offer inter-disciplinary and cooperative supervision.

During the pilot phase of this program, established contacts to partnering schools will be strengthened in order to allow for maximum impact based on previous experiences with summer student internships (in particular including higher technical schools). In addition, this initiative aims at making new contacts in particular with grammar schools to increase the numbers of pupils interested in physical sciences; this should also provide a better understanding of educational perspectives at university level.

The initiative „Green Chemistry @ Sparkling Science” has already been launched in summer 2008 with an intensive training period at Vienna University of Technology. A large diversity of research projects was offered to interested students and hands-on experiments were conducted at the university campus during the summer. In the following study year compilation and interpretation of the obtained data was implemented resulting in the compilation of research reports and “Fachbereichsarbeiten”.
The following research areas were successfully investigated.

  • Alternative energy forms and modern chemical reactors
  • Renewable resources and biomaterials
  • Bioorganic chemistry and white biotechnology
  • Modern catalysis
  • Chemistry in food safety and environmental chemistry
  • Alternative reaction environments

Currently, research activities at Vienna University of Technology include professors and assistants of the whole Faculty for Technical Chemistry together with 15 partnering schools in Vienna and the provinces. In summer 2008 and during the following term approx. 25 students received training at the campus and were supervised during the elaboration of their results; we expect about 50 candidates for the second project year. Concomitantly, negotiations with additional schools are ongoing to enter the consortium.

This project has been completed.