Co-Designing Experiential Learning – a collaboration between introductory analytical chemistry and Campus Farm at the University of Toronto Scarborough

Date: March 7, 2023 12:00 pm (ET)


  • Béatrice Lego
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Phoebe Tong
    University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Kris Kim
    University of Toronto Scarborough
Chem-ED icon


Experiential learning is rooted in several facets of how we teach and learn chemistry, in particular through the hands-on nature of the laboratory components of our courses. In introductory analytical chemistry, we engage our students across a range of transferrable techniques and instrumentation that can be applied to study an array of real-world systems. At the University of Toronto Scarborough campus (UTSC), we expanded these experiential learning opportunities beyond the walls of our teaching labs in collaboration with partners at our Campus Farm. Together with students and staff, a service-learning laboratory experiment was co-developed and co-facilitated, where students apply their skills to study potential soil phytoextraction and remediation strategies. In this co-presentation, an overview of the design and implemention of this pilot experiment will be shared from the perspectives of student, staff, and faculty co-designers.


Béatrice Lego is the Campus Farm Coordinator at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is responsible for providing support and advice to faculty and units regarding the use of the Campus Farm for teaching, research, and community engagement purposes. She assists with the content and the production of the experiential learning that the Campus Farm offers. In addition, her role provides administrative support to operate and manage the farm. She has been involved in the Campus Farm project since the beginning in 2018. Béatrice holds a PhD in Polymer and Surface Chemistry from the Université de Montréal and completed a double-certificate in permaculture design and advanced social systems design from Permaculture Women’s Guild.

Phoebe Tong is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences (DPES) at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Her undergraduate degree was also from the University of Toronto through the environmental chemistry specialist program. She started to work as a teaching assistant in 2018 and has been involved in first-year general chemistry and second-year analytical and organic chemistry undergraduate courses. She also has experience as a teaching assistant for a graduate level course on soil contamination chemistry. Her research projects involve sophisticated molecular-level analytical methods (e.g., GC-MS, NMR) to analyze how environmental factors and human disturbances impact natural organic matter (mainly organic carbon) chemistry in soil and sediments. She received a DPES Teaching Fellowship in 2022 and has applied her teaching and research experiences toward designing a new service-learning experiment in analytical chemistry.

Kris Kim is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus (UTSC). He joined the department in 2019 and has been responsible for teaching first-year general and second-year introductory analytical chemistry courses. He works closely with a large first-year teaching team in designing innovative ways to integrate opportunities for students to strengthen their writing skills and his recent research interests include co-designing and assessing the impact of community-engaged, service-learning, and more broadly experiential learning experiences. He was recently a Community-Engaged Learning Faculty Fellow at the Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto and helps support initiatives related to outreach and recruitment in the local community.