Dr. Amina El-Ashmawy in the classroom.

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To keep her students engaged, El-Ashmawy uses real examples to show the relevance and importance of chemistry in everyday life. But the task is not always easy and comes with certain challenges.
“Chemistry is highly abstract. One has to relate the macroscopic world to a nanoscopic world of atoms, molecules, ions, electrons, etc., which is difficult for most students. In addition, there is a lot of math to be applied that requires conceptual understanding. Students have not been taught how to think in those terms,” she said.