Chemistry Around US
Dr. David Hackleman
Oregon State University and OilExTech, LLC
Essential Oils of Plants as an Avenue to Critical Thinking and Self- motivated Learning
Abstract: It is well known that experiential events are very effective in capturing the interest of
inquisitive minds. Moving from that initial “capture” to critical thinking is non-trivial as the avenue of
stimulus for the sake of stimulus and its attending emission of adrenalin can render a barely
controllable situation into chaos. Talented professional teaching individuals in K-12 are well aware of
this thin line. It is this author’s opinion that the greatest gift a student can give a teacher is to become
inspired to learn and the greatest gift a teacher can give a student is the catalyst to that behavior.
The experiential learning plan expressed in this presentation is an attempt at threading that needle in a
manner that can be accomplished even with significant focus on minimizing the impact to financial
resources and instructional preparation time to allow the teacher and student more opportunity. It is
proposed that merely by following the theme of Essential Oils, a significant amount of the overall
human knowledge base can be actually “tapped” and/or exposed for the learner
Many home schools and k-12 schools have used our EssenEx 300 essential oil extraction kits and our EssenEx 100A essential oil extraction kits for chemistry labs and science projects. They are great for learning and understanding botanical sources. It allows students the opportunity to extract essential oils from plants and even the skin of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and more. When students have completed their chemistry lab, they will have an understanding of how the process of extracting oils works.