The 2017 Member Survey: Responding to Your Feedback

By Scott Hawkins, AACT President on March 23, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to complete the 2017 AACT member survey. I wanted to share highlights of the feedback we received and share our plans to address it both in the near and long term.

From expanding our library of classroom resources, to integrating more fully with NGSS, to organizing professional development, we’re committed to continually improving AACT.

More Classroom Resources
We’re happy to share that we have plans to add lots more teaching resources in the weeks and months to come. Here’s a quick preview:
  • Over 100 General Classroom Resources—through our partnership with Dow, we’re working with great teachers of chemistry to produce custom teaching resources at all levels of instruction, including elementary school and middle school.These will include lesson plans, labs, demos, and activities along with corresponding student activity sheets to make them easy to implement in your classroom.

  • Over 20 “Chemistry of Color” Resources— through our partnership with PPG, we’re working with great teachers of chemistry to produce custom teaching resources that incorporate components of engineering. Many of these resources are being written by experienced teachers of advanced chemistry and will be appropriate for teachers teaching advanced students.They’ll also be aligned to NGSS.

  • 10 Videos—in the coming months, we’ll have videos on Lise Meitner, frontiers of chemistry, the chemistry of color, and more.

  • Chemistry Solutionsin addition to being packed full of insight from teachers, Chemistry Solutions often includes several corresponding teaching resources published in our online collection.

You can visit our classroom resources page anytime to see a list of the newest resources published to the library. We also post news resources added each month in our e-newsletter. Do you have ideas for a great resource or would like to share something you use in your classroom? Please send it our way! We’d love to share it with the community.

NGSS Connections
Another common point of feedback we received from the survey was the need for more NGSS support.This summer, we’ll begin working through our resource library to call out connections to NGSS performance expectations where they aren’t yet captured. Several resources in our online library are aligned to NGSS—including How Far Can We Go, Rocket Challenge, Mystery Metals, What Make Something Feel Warm, and the Building Blocks of Photosynthesis—and we’ll make this a goal of future writing teams. We also have blog posts that call out connections between NGSS and lessons in our online library.

AP & IB Chemistry
In addition to requests for more resources and support for NGSS, we also received requests for more support for teachers of advanced chemistry.Here are a few ways we’re excited to do so:

  • AP Chemistry Blog Posts—throughout the rest of the school year, we’ll be writing a blog post that highlights how AACT resources map to learning outcomes in AP chemistry.

  • AP Writing Team—this summer, we’ll be convening a content writing team composed of AACT members to produce resources specifically for use in AP and IB classrooms. Stay tuned for details about how to apply!

  • Webinars—throughout each school year, we’ll organize webinars appropriate for teachers of advanced chemistry.Next week, we have a webinar on Big K, Small k, and Buffers with Paul Price.Then, in April, we have a webinars on Teaching Challenging Concepts using Peer Instruction with Dena K. Leggett, and What’s the Big Idea: AP Chemistry Review with Brandie Freeman, Matthew Kennedy, Russell Kohnken, Christine Taylor, and Kaleb Underwood.If you aren’t able to attend the live webinar, AACT members can view our growing collection of recorded sessions, including webinars great for advanced teachers, like Teaching Students How to Better Answer Non-Calculator Problems, Results from the 2016 AP Exam, and more.

Other ways we plan to support teachers of advanced chemistry include compiling a list of advanced resources from our online library and publishing articles about advanced chemistry in Chemistry Solutions.

Professional Development

In addition to our webinar series, we’ll be offering professional development sessions at ChemEd 2017 and the STEM Forum in July. We also maintain a regularly updated list of other professional development opportunities.

These are just some of the ways we look forward to expanding AACT in the months to come. Thank you all for your submissions, input, and support. We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve you.

As you have questions, suggestions, or ideas, please feel free to contact us anytime. Thank you for your dedication to chemistry education!

Scott Hawkins is the 2016–2017 AACT President and Governing Board Chair. He has taught chemistry and AP Chemistry in Cleveland, OH for over 20 years.