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    Classroom Commentary | September 2021 An Opportunity to Get Involved!

    Read about one veteran chemistry teacher’s 25-year experience with the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Program (USNCO). He shares his experience, insight, and an overview of the wonderful program. If you’ve ever thought about getting yourself or your students involved, now is your chance to learn more!

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    Editorial | September 2021 Culturally Responsive Teaching in Chemistry

    AACT President Greta Glugoski-Sharp expresses her sincere thanks to the dedicated community of teachers for their extraordinary efforts and continued contributions to chemistry education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we embark on a new school year, she urges teachers to be inclusive in their teaching practices and shares strategies to help them incorporate culturally responsive teaching methods in their instruction.

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    Classroom Commentary | September 2021 Heterogeneous Chemistry Classrooms: Experiments in Desegregation

    How do we create community in a diverse chemistry classroom? How can our classroom dynamics lead to greater social justice in chemistry? ACS Conant Award winner Shea Wickelson shares stories and ideas from her experience teaching de-tracked high school chemistry.

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    Classroom Commentary | September 2021 Finding Your Leadership Potential in Chemistry Education

    As the pandemic closed the doors of schools across the nation, educators from across the world adapted to reach students in an uncertain world. Through the author’s journey in search of new teaching strategies, she gained insights into the importance of leadership in education — even after 14 years of teaching. In this article, she suggests that each teacher has something important to bring to the educational community, and that the current situation demands that new leaders emerge to help all of us reach our most vulnerable student populations.

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    Resource Feature | September 2021 An Inquiry Activity: Mixture Separation Challenge

    In this article, the author shares about her use of a hands-on inquiry activity to assess students’ content knowledge. The activity tasks small groups of students with developing and conducting an experimental procedure to separate a mixture provided by the teacher. Read the article to learn more and to access the activity for use in your own classroom!

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    Nuts & Bolts | May 2021 Chemistry Experiments at Home

    In this article, a teacher shares about how she successfully completed lab experiments with students while they were learning at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The author describes how careful planning allowed her to provide students with all the necessary materials for each lab experiment. Additionally, she explains how lab set-ups can be easily modified with substituted materials, while still providing a valuable learning experience for students.  

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    Classroom Commentary | May 2021 A Green Opportunity: Recycling Agar from Diffusion Cubes

    In this article, the author shares about a collaborative recycling opportunity that combined biology and chemistry. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, a chemistry teacher and an AP chemistry student worked together to develop a method for recycling a large surplus of pink agar that had been collected after its use in a biology diffusion lab. The science department worked together to develop a method to reuse lab supplies and promote sustainability.

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    Editorial | May 2021 Emerging from the Pandemic … With New Teaching Tools, Strategies, and Inspiration

    AACT President Jesse Bernstein reflects on the challenging 2020–21 school year, as he encourages teachers to learn from the experience and embrace their successes. He commends teachers for their versatility and inspiring teaching strategies they’ve followed throughout the year. He shares his hopeful outlook for the future, and encourages teachers to apply their new approaches in years to come.

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    Classroom Commentary | May 2021 The Value of Integrating Real-World Projects in Science

    The author of this article pulls from her experience as both a teacher and a water specialist at a government agency to inspire readers to connect real-world science learning opportunities in the classroom.

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    In My Element | May 2021 Paying it Forward as a Chemistry Teacher

    In this article, the author recalls how her early childhood encounters with chemistry left a lasting impression and inspired her to become a teacher. As she finishes her last months working toward obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching focused in Chemistry Education, she is excited to pursue a career as a high school chemistry teacher in the near future.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Chemistry Semester Exam Redesign

    In this article, the author shares about her experience redesigning a traditional multiple-choice chemistry semester exam to an authentic assessment for her Honors Chemistry students. Motivated to create an assessment made up of more thought-provoking questions, and encouraged by the style of the AP chemistry exam, she shares example questions, grading rubrics and overall feedback related to the redesign and implementation.

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    Editorial | March 2021 Bringing Chemistry to Life through the Story of Madame Curie

    AACT President-Elect Greta Glugoski-Sharp shares about her passion for teaching about the historical significance of important chemists — in particular, the great contributions of Marie Curie. She encourages teachers to integrate the important history of scientific pioneers, such as Curie and others, into their own teachings.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Remote Teaching Strategies that Will Outlast the Pandemic

    In this article, the author reflects on four new teaching practices that he has successfully implemented in response to the current remote learning environment, and shares about how these strategies can continue to be valuable in the future.

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    In My Element | March 2021 Teaching is a Journey

    The author describes her journey from the industrial lab setting to the classroom. Originally inspired to pursue a future in chemistry by her high school chemistry teacher, many experiences throughout her life have positioned her to thrive as an educator. Her journey has come full circle, and as a high school chemistry teacher, she now hopes to inspire bright minds to be life-long learners and to be excited about science.

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    Tech Tips | March 2021 How to Use Online Forms and Surveys to Enhance Remote Learning

    In this article, the author describes how the remote learning setting can be challenging for teachers. The inability to observe students’ body language and other types of real-time feedback can make it difficult to plan ahead and adjust lessons on the fly. With this in mind, the author shares some practical ways to use online forms and surveys to both engage students in remote learning and gain more real-time feedback on lesson comprehension.

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    Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Beneficial Classroom Strategies for Teaching in a Pandemic and Beyond

    Teaching during the pandemic has challenged teachers to find new ways to help students learn chemistry. In this article, AACT Middle School Ambassador Jennifer Smith describes several teaching methods that have been successful in her classroom. These strategies include weekly student check-in surveys, providing students with audio feedback, and creating video instructions for labs. All are easy-to-implement practices that teachers can leverage both during and after the pandemic

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    Classroom Commentary | November 2020 Online Chemistry: My Top Five Ingredients for Success

    In this article, the author discusses the five main ingredients that led to success when she was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to quickly redesign an in-person accelerated summer chemistry course to instead be delivered online. Twenty students participated in the seven-week accelerated class, which covered the same amount of content as an entire school year of chemistry. Their feedback, as well as that of their parents, is included in this article.

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    Resource Feature | November 2020 Creative Ways to Conduct Traditional Labs in a Homeschool Environment

    In this article, the author shares about creating meaningful lab experiences for chemistry students in a virtual homeschool environment. She discusses how she transformed a traditional lesson plan into a virtual project-based experience for students, following basic four rules. The author encourages other teachers to transform their own content for remote learning, and reassures teachers that doing so is not as difficult as one might think.

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    Tech Tips | November 2020 Remote Technology Resources in a COVID-19 World

    In this article, the author describes three specific technology resources — Flipgrid, Collisions, and Gizmos — that she relied on when the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools to switch to remote-teaching. She highlights the benefits of each platform, and shares examples of her successful experience using each. She concludes that Flipgrid was valuable as it allowed for asynchronous class connections, while Collisions and Gizmos allowed for inquiry-based learning experiences.

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    In My Element | November 2020 I Was Always Meant to be a Teacher

    Meet Jonté Lee, chemistry teacher. In this article, read about his non-traditional path to a traditional career. Lee started out in corporate America, but now finds himself loving a career as a high school chemistry teacher. Additionally, learn about his inspiring transformation of his kitchen into a chemistry lab to overcome challenges of virtual teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    Classroom Commentary | November 2020 Getting the Facts Out About Secondary Chemistry Teaching

    Misperceptions about careers in STEM secondary school teaching keep interested students from pursuing teaching and also explain why some chemistry educators may not recommend that their most successful students explore careers in teaching. The U.S. has a shortage of STEM teachers in middle and high school, and highlighting the facts about STEM teaching can help to address this predicament. Get the Facts Out is an NSF-funded project designed to give chemistry educators the tools to explain and correct misperceptions, with data on salary, benefits, and career satisfaction of STEM secondary school teachers. Chemistry educators at all levels can access the Get the Facts Out toolkit that includes resources to share with students, colleagues, and administrators — and in the process, become change agents in this crucial conversation.

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    Editorial | November 2020 Tackling Change and Challenges

    In this editorial, AACT Governing Board SOCED Representative Amy Nicely shares about her experience teaching chemistry labs in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although her lab looks a little different today, she feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach students in-person. Learn about the modified procedures and new protocols that have been essential to her success.

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    Resource Feature | November 2020 A Green Chemistry Guided-Inquiry Lab

    In this article, the authors share insights about how they used a guided-inquiry lab about biomimetic preen oil to expose students to the topics of green chemistry and biomimicry, topics not commonly covered in high school chemistry curricula. While preen oil occurs naturally when birds secrete it to protect their feathers, it can also be created by reacting waste cooking oil in a blue cheese slurry, with the mold Penicillium roqueforti producing methyl ketones, an important antibacterial compound. The authors discuss the implementation and results of a guided-inquiry lab in which students design, test, and evaluate their own procedure using biomimicry and green chemistry principles.

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    Editorial | September 2020 We Didn't Plan for This

    2020-2021 AACT President Jesse Bernstein welcomes teachers to the beginning of an unusual school year. Understanding that every teacher is in a unique situation right now, he encourages educators to share with one another, stay positive, and do their best to adapt during this unprecedented time. He highlights several helpful resources and points teachers to the latest content from AACT.

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    Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Engaging Students with a Thinking Routine in Chemistry

    Thinking Routines are an effective way to increase engagement and understanding during distance learning. In this article, the author shares about how she uses this tactic to help students think more deeply about the complex content they are actively learning.