Chemistry and Sustainable Development Goals

Posted by Sanjiv Prashar, on March 20, 2023, 10:12 a.m.

Sanjiv Prashar

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos


Challenge and goal

There is no denying the importance of STEM in achieving the UN Sustainable development goals. To date subjects are taught without taking into account solutions offered by STEM to major problems that face humanity

Therefore, strategies need to be put into place where basic teaching goes hand in hand with awakening the student’s interest and commitment.

It is proposed to introduce SDGs within the current syllabus.

Topic of the user case

Importance of STEM, particularly Chemistry in achieving UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Local context (specific)

The difficulty to overcome is moving the student from its comfort zone of academic learning to that of the real world where other factors, many times non-scientific, need to be taken into account.

New aspects covering ethics, democratic values etc. need to be considered.

Local CPD goals

Designing methodology where SDGs can be introduced into the syllabus. Activities could range from invited lectures from experts in the field, student projects, adapting exam questions to resolve SDG related problems. Etc.

Needs defined in STEM-CPD Roadmap

1 frame the course in the context of the study programme
2 define intended learning outcomes in every course they teach
4 engage students and arouse interest for the discipline in the class
5 teach holistically by integrating social and art aspects in teaching and learning complex chemical concepts
8 develop critical thinking by students
2 attending presentations about teaching approaches.
5 following online courses / MOOC about teaching and learning.

CPD activities at the local university

stage 1: incorporation of SDGs in the syllabus

stage 2: SDG presentations

stage 3: SDG evaluation exercises

Teaching and learning materials


Teaching material presentations, exercises, and problems


Sustainable implementation

Feedback about the experimental lessons in the URJC

Expected impact of the CPD User Case

A complete change in thinking not seeing Chemistry purely academically but as an essential tool for ethical human progress.

Plans for eventual continuation of the CPD within the same topic


Constructive alignment, Engagement and motivation, facilitation discipline specific learning, Deep learning (type P1-1, P1-3b, P1-3c)

This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop their competence in sound course design and how to engage and motivate students and how to facilitate discipline specific thinking and how to facilitate student’s deep learning and development of higher cognitive skills.
The approximate duration of a User case that follows this scenario is several weeks.
In this CPD scenario the participants are using a very short open online course, a micro mooc (μmooc) and professionalize in a close connection to their own teaching practice (at their workplace).

Learning environment
Several weeks

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