NCW Teaching Resources and the 2023 Health & Medicine Content Writing Team
By AACT on October 1, 2023
The 2023 National Chemistry Week (NCW) will be celebrated during the week of October 15 -21 with the theme, The Healing Power of Chemistry. This year’s theme recognizes the tremendous advances made by medical professionals and scientists.
High School teachers are encouraged to check out a new lab from AACT, Assessing the Alkaline Diet using a Buffer System which was created to align with this year’s NCW theme. In this lab students simulate the body’s buffer system to test the validity of the alkaline diet.
Additionally, there are the many other teaching resources from AACT that can be used in the K-12 classroom to celebrate NCW:
High School Teaching Resources:
- Activity: Nuclear Medicine Half-Lives
- Activity: Case Study—The Lung Cancer Mystery
- Activity: Designing an Effective Respiratory Cloth Mask
- Activity: Herbal Remedies
- Lab: Assessing the Alkaline Diet Using a Buffer System
- Lab: The Chemistry of Hand Sanitizer and Soap
- Lab: Over the Counter Drugs
- Lab: Aspirin Tablets—Are they all the Same?
- Lab: Soap or Fuel?
- Lab: Aspirin Synthesis and Spectroscopy Analysis
- Lesson Plan: Vitamin C Quality Control
- Lesson Plan: Screen your Sunscreen!
- Lesson Plan: The Chemistry of Vaccines
- Lesson Plan: The Vitamin B Complex
- Lesson Plan: Discovery of Ivermectin—Preventing Blindness and Heartworm
- Lesson Plan: Steroid Medicines—A Profile of Chemical Innovation
- Lesson Plan: Chocolate, the new Health Food
- Project: Discovering Chemical Elements in Food
- Video: Ingenious: The Strange Chemistry Behind Why You Get Sick on Planes
- Video: Ingenious: Kill More Germs by Cleaning … Less?
K-8 Teaching Resources
- Demo: Investigating Hand Sanitizer and Soap
- Lab: The Most Effective Sunscreen
- Lab: It’s Alive
- Lesson Plan: The Chemistry of Casts
A group of teachers from across the United States were selected to participate as part of the AACT Health & Medicine Content Writing Team during June and July. Through this opportunity, this talented team of teachers created new and exciting lessons related to the NCW theme for use in high school chemistry classrooms and middle school science classrooms. Summaries of each of the lessons are provided below—please note that some are not available at the time of this posting but will be published soon—stay tuned!
Melissa Hemling, a high school chemistry teacher from Wisconsin, created What Chemicals are in E-Cigarettes? In the lesson, students learn about gas chromatography by comparing it to paper chromatography and then analyze gas chromatography data to learn more about the chemicals present in e-cigarettes. Using their knowledge, they create an infographic and post it publicly to make a positive impact in their community.
The Chemistry of Casts, created by Illinois middle school science teacher Jennifer Smith, engages young students with the history of chemistry involved in creating orthopedic casts. Students then have the opportunity to work in small groups to conduct a hands-on experiment to investigate the best plaster of Paris to water ratio for model casts.
High school chemistry teacher Sherri Rukes, of Illinois, designed a lesson for students to take on the role of a chemical engineer responsible for the development of hand cream. Through examination of recipes and comparison of samples, students determine the importance of various ingredients used in making the hand cream.
Written by chemistry teacher Steve Kosmas of Michigan, high school students engage in the lesson, Eating and Your Health to learn about the macromolecules contained in food. Students make connections between chemistry, calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats in food.
Caroline Tsuyuki, a high school chemistry teacher from California, created the lesson, Comparing Vitamin C in Juice, which is suitable for use in both the middle school science classroom and high school chemistry classroom. This lesson utilizes a simplified titration method to determine if Vitamin C is present in a variety of commercial juices. Students participate in hands-on testing of familiar products, and then engage in data analysis of the collected results.
Taylor Villanueva, a high school chemistry teacher in Texas developed the lesson, Not all Antacids are Created Equal, for students to test the relative efficacy of over-the-counter antacids through a titration.
The AACT Resource Library is made possible by great teachers who share their own resources, or design new content for the community. We need your help to keep the collection growing! Check out current content writing opportunities from AACT to get involved today!
Finally, we encourage teachers to use related articles from ChemMatters magazine as an opportunity to promote literacy in the classroom, while celebrating the 2023 NCW theme, The Healing Power of Chemistry:
- Could Vaccines be Pain Free?
- The Opioid Epidemic: How Did It Get this Bad?
- What is Hand Sanitizer? And Does It Keep Your Hands Germ-Free?
- Pathway to Pain Relief
- Brush Up on Toothpaste!
- Got Vitamin D?
- Clearing the Way to Acne-Free Days
- Drugs Down the Drain: The Drugs You Swallow, the Water You Drink
- Nanotechnology’s Big Impact