Chemistry: From the Classroom to the Real World

Helping students make the connection between a concept learned in the classroom and its real-world application is an important part of the educational process. Dr. Tom Carr, an instructor at NSCC, has invited local businesses into the classroom to be a part of that process.

NSCC instructor, Dr. Tom Carr (left) and PBE’s Erin Johnson (right) display two consumer-oriented superabsorbent products: a “sandless” sandbag and the Puppy Pads brand of pet house-training supplies.

NSCC instructor, Dr. Tom Carr (left) and PBE’s Erin Johnson (right) display two consumer-oriented superabsorbent products: a “sandless” sandbag and the Puppy Pads brand of pet house-training supplies.

Erin Johnson of Principle Business Enterprises, a Bowling Green-based manufacturer, recently served as a guest speaker in one of Dr. Carr’s chemistry classes. Ms. Johnson presented information on superabsorbents, which are items that contain modified acrylic polymers, allowing them to absorb many times their weight in water.

Superabsorbents are frequently used in incontinence products, such as PBE’s Tranquility product line. In addition to illustrating the science and technology surrounding superabsorbents, Ms. Johnson showcased other applications including wound dressings, house-training products for puppies and an innovative “sandless” sandbag flood-control product.

Ms. Johnson’s visit is just one example of how Northwest State’s instructors help students see how scientific and technological developments can translate to career opportunities.