Science and Mathematics

Keith Kostecka

Associate Professor

623 S Wabash, Rm 200C
Phone: (312) 369-7182


I am an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science in the Science and Mathematics Department.  I teach [or have taught] the following courses recently [Liberal Arts Chemistry, The Chemistry of Science Fiction, Introduction to Nanotechnology and Environmental Science].

I have taught at the college since 1989 and I have industrial experience as an environmental chemist.  My academic experience is as an analytical chemist and I have written papers on the analysis of food/drinks for metals [e,g, calcium in food/drinks, potassium in Gatorade, cadmium in lettuce and in phytoremediation study with Wisconsin fast plants].  I also have a significant interest in curriculum development of physical science courses; two recent examples of my work here have included the “Introduction to Nanotechnology” and “The Chemistry of Science Fiction” courses.   I am currently working on articles on student preparation of a metal hydroxide and determination of lethal dose of acid to the organism Daphnia.

I also have done important work in the history of chemistry where I have written a biography of the distinguished English chemist Morris William Travers.  I have also written articles that have been published in chemical history specifically on:  the discovery and chemistry of the noble gases; the discovery and chemistry of the element Americium and I am currently completing an article on the element Astatine and also a book on chemical serendipity.  I have a D.A. in chemical education from UIC.  My B.S. is in chemistry from Benedictine University and I have a M.S. in chemistry from UIUC.

Teaching Interests

Teach [or have taught] courses to non-science majors in areas of environmental, introductory and general chemistry, nanotechnology, chemistry of science fiction and also science, technology and society. I do this through the Department of Science and Mathematics.

Research Interests

Analysis of heavy metals in foods, Phytoremediation of heavy metals and pesticides, Serendipity in chemistry and history of chemistry.


B.S., Chemistry Illinois Benedictine University 1982
M.S., Chemistry University of Illinois-Champaign 1985
D.A., Chemistry University of Illinois-Chicago 1991