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Teaching Methods

Making chemistry relatable to students' lives

Started 9 months ago by Byungmoon Cho.

I am currently working towards chemistry teaching certification for high school and I have this question I would love to ask the teachers:
Is there a specific teaching methodology that you have/use to make chemistry more relatable to students' lives? That is is there something you do as a part of teaching that students you would be outside the classroom and think chemistry matters to them, more than just as an academic subject they have to do to go to college?


  • Brian Libby

    Posted 3 months ago

    I was fortunate to inherit a room that had old copies of various chemistry periodical, including Chem Matters. I photocopied articles on everthing from shoes to chocolate to make up to ice caves - something to hopefully pique the interest of every student.
    Our school has reading intitiatives to help students read more proficiently and I assign an article of their choosing and use the reading initiative language in the assignment. I collect articles as I find them and now have 100 or so I can pick from to pique student interest.

  • Monica Wixon

    Posted 8 months ago

    Hi Byungmoon - what a great question! One of the things I've done is to do a "Science Friday" segment each week. (If you don't know of the program, NPR runs a science segment on Fridays from 2-4 in the afternoon: https://www.sciencefriday.com/). I take about 5 minutes to talk about something in the news or something related to my students' interests (you could take a survey at the beginning of the year to get an idea of things they might want to learn about relating to chemistry, or science in general). Another way I've done it is to have student volunteers give mini-presentations on a topic of interest to them. Or you could play part of one of the NPR segments from the website.

    AACT also has a number of articles published in Chemistry Solutions that might be useful for new teachers relating to keeping students engaged. Here are links to a couple: https://teachchemistry.org/periodical/issues/september-2019/strategies-for-fostering-community-in-high-school-chemistry-classrooms

    I hope some of these are helpful!