UCI OpenChem aims to promote STEM education

UC Irvine’s new UCI OpenChem offers comprehensive chemistry curriculum to the masses.

The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) has launched a free online chemistry curriculum that offers videos to students and self-learners.

To create Open Chemistry (UCI OpenChem), UC Irvine partnered with OpenCourseWare, a 10-year-old project that aims to make higher education more accessible to the masses.

Currently, UCI OpenChem provides open videos that encompass UC Irvine’s entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum, with the exception of required lab courses. In total, UCI OpenChem includes 15 quarter-length videos, some of which include graduate course information.

UC Irvine representatives said they hope that UCI OpenChem will help to progress students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and better educate anyone who wishes to learn.

“Making knowledge open to the entire world is a wonderful result of the World Wide Web,” said Marshall S. Smith, under secretary of education for former President Bill Clinton and a recent senior counselor to current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “UCI has taken the next big step in this direction by presenting their entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum in an open format. This is a wonderful gift from a superb institution in the world’s greatest university system.”

UC Irvine has worked with OpenCourseWare since 2006, and has delivered 90 complete courses’ worth of material and hundreds of video lectures online for free during that time.

(Next page: Reaction to the open chemistry curriculum—and its potential impact)

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