Kylie Luska

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream
LM219 Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories, 80 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H6


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

My research interests focus on the development of more student-centred activities for both the organic chemistry classroom and laboratory to provide opportunities for undergraduate students to practice and improve their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. In the classroom, I play an active role in helping students develop these skills through the incorporation of problem-solving and student response sessions. Sessions allow students to work on the application of course material continuously throughout the semester, while also providing me the opportunity to demonstrate successful strategies for solving organic chemistry problems. Further, I like to provide video recordings along with answer keys for assignments and examinations to provide not only solutions to assessments but also the thought process needed to approach chemical problems.

In the laboratory, I am interested in the replacement of traditional expository (“recipe-based”) activities with more inquiry-based labs. While expository experiments have allowed students to hone their hands-on labs skills, they lack in their ability to develop the analytical capabilities of students or to stimulate an appreciation of the scientific method. Alternatively, inquiry-based experiments assign a specific problem to students and require them to develop their own procedure and/or collect their own data to reach an undetermined outcome. Such activities provide undergraduate students with a greater opportunity to develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills within a laboratory setting, while also better preparing them for experiences in an academic or industrial lab environment. Recently, I have developed two new inquiry-based experiments for the second-year organic chemistry curriculum based on chromatography and liquid-liquid extraction.

With my background and expertise in the field of Sustainable Chemistry, I am also interested in incorporating the practices of green and sustainable chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. I believe that Sustainable Chemistry should not be a stand-along subject, but is an attitude by which chemists approach their work. Introducing students to sustainable chemistry throughout their undergraduate degrees provides the best opportunity to reach this goal.

If you are interested in working together on CHM 229Y, CTFP or volunteer basis, please do not hesitate in contacting me.