Teaching 8KQ to Chemistry Students – Nate Wright


Dr. Nate Wright, Professor of Chemistry, values developing students’ ethical reasoning skills in addition to technical skills, so he regularly invites ERiA to facilitate an interactive experience. Faculty fellow and marketing professor Dr. Joe Derby, Liv Stephens from Strategic Planning and Engagement, and Katrina Libera facilitated an ethical reasoning workshop for about 45 junior Chemistry students in late January. After an 8KQ introduction, students applied the questions to a custom-developed case (by Joe and Nate) relevant to the chemistry industry. Joe is a trained chemist and worked in the industry for many years. Students broke into small teams to analyze the scenario and were charged with deciding what to do regarding restarting production in a chemical plant after an explosion – restart in same location, restart in same location and store hazardous chemical offsite, or move production elsewhere. Each location choice raises social, environmental, and ethical concerns beyond the technical considerations. Tragically, a chemical explosion occurred that same Friday at a manufacturing plant with some similarities to the hypothetical scenario in Houston, Texas.


Involves Faculty, Involves Staff, Involves Students


JMU Campus Scope


January 24, 2020


One Time Only

Existing Center/Institute/Program


Engagement Attributes

JMU Specific

Begin Date


Areas of Engagement

Engaged Learning



On/Off campus

On campus

Number of people served


Academic Level of Engagement

Academic Degree or Certificate Program, Department

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