The goal of this project was to create an inquiry activity to teach symmetry elements and symmetry operations in an inorganic chemistry course. Many students experience difficulty when building and mentally manipulating three-dimensional mental models from two-dimensional images, causing difficulty when learning symmetry. Process-oriented, guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) was used to structure the activity using a learning cycle paradigm consistent with research on how students learn as described by Novak’s human constructivism theory. The activity familiarized students with symmetry terms as students actively engaged in finding symmetry operations in a variety of molecules. The symmetry activity was classroom tested and student and POGIL expert feedback were used to improve the activity.
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