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  • Classroom Commentary | November 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Teaching Chimie in Canada

    In this article, a Canadian author shares about her experience teaching chemistry in French Immersion, a program aimed at promoting bilingualism in French and English, the country’s two official languages. As she describes, both teaching and learning chemistry en français can be especially difficult, presenting unique challenges. She discusses her experiences as a classroom teacher, extra considerations required to support students in this setting, and the strategies she uses to expand students’ communication skills en français in the context of chimie.

  • Editorial | November 2022 Making Connections: The Value of a Professional Learning Network

    AACT President-Elect Michael Farabaugh reflects on his journey building a professional learning community throughout his career. He provides insight to both online and in-person opportunities, and shares about some of his most impactful experiences. He encourages teachers to get involved and make connections through a variety of resources.

  • Resource Feature | November 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Safely Introducing Students to the Chemistry Lab by Modifying a Classic Investigation

    In this article, the author discusses the common objectives of early weeks in first-year high school chemistry, such as safe lab attitudes and techniques, learning SI measurements, and communicating data and conclusions. The lab investigation highlighted in this article can be used to begin achieving all these objectives in an engaging and fun chemical reaction using a heating source with a reduced carbon footprint. The data developed gives an excellent opportunity for students to practice writing results and conclusions in the “claim, evidence, logical connection” manner taught in many secondary schools.

  • Classroom Commentary | November 2022 Chemical Phenomena in Everyday Life: An Adventure in Writing Across the Curriculum

    This article describes a year-long writing project in an upper-level chemistry course that culminates in a Writing Marathon field trip to New York City. The goal of the project was to use student writing about chemical phenomena observed in daily life to make connections to the concepts discussed in class. The author shares that her students enjoyed exploring the city and examining it through their chemistry lens. She found it even more rewarding to watch them apply their knowledge to explain the phenomena around them.

  • Classroom Commentary | September 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Small Stones, Big Mountains

    Learning science at middle and high school level should stimulate curiosity and engagement. Many new teachers, and also those who have been teaching for a while, can feel overwhelmed and consequently miss opportunities to help their students truly experience the wonderment and awe of science. This article suggests small modifications in pedagogy that can make a big difference in how students learn science in the classroom, and seeks to inspire teachers to rethink and re-evaluate their pedagogy approach.

  • Editorial | September 2022 Battling and Overcoming Teacher Burnout

    AACT President Matt Perekupka addresses the difficult but timely topic of teacher burnout. He shares about the obstacles he has faced as a teacher in recent years, and outlines shared goals for overcoming burnout in the year ahead. Matt emphasizes the importance of having a positive professional network, while also encouraging teachers to be mindful of their personal well-being this year.

  • Nuts & Bolts | September 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Teaching with Project-Based Learning in the High School Chemistry Classroom

    In this article, the author describes her interest and recent success with her implementation of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in the chemistry classroom. She discusses her experience using PBL and what motivates her to continue using the approach. She also provides an overview of some successful chemistry units that are designed with PBL in mind.

  • In My Element | September 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Curiosity, Challenges, and Success: The Journey of a Teacher

    In this article, the author shares about the influences and circumstances that led her to a career in teaching. Additionally, she brings light to the demographics and flavor of the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, and why she feels it is the perfect fit for her as a chemistry teacher.

  • Resource Feature | September 2022 Using the National Historic Chemical Landmarks Lessons in the Chemistry Classroom

    This article highlights the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program from the American Chemical Society, and aims to make teachers aware of the growing collection of lesson plans that are centered around select Landmarks for use in the high school chemistry classroom. The lesson plans provide a unique combination of science, history, and literacy while featuring significant scientific achievements and discoveries.

  • Resource Feature | May 2022 Bringing Materials Chemistry into the Teaching of Bonding

    In this article, the author explains how she incorporates topics of materials science into a chemical bonding unit. She shares several teaching resources as examples, including easy-to-use, show-and-tell style demonstrations that have had been effective at introducing students to the exciting field of material science.

  • Editorial | May 2022 An Ongoing Effort: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Chemistry

    AACT President Greta Glugoski-Sharp shares about the work of the AACT Governing Board throughout the past year, and highlights their efforts focused on culturally responsive and inclusive teaching practices in the chemistry classroom. She hopes that their work will result in a toolkit (currently being developed) that can help support and guide chemistry teachers on the path to culturally responsive teaching.

  • Nuts & Bolts | May 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Strategies for Equitable Student Collaboration using Jamboard

    In this article the author explains how she recently incorporated a Driving Questions Board and Activity Summary Board using Jamboard in her chemistry classroom. She shares about her purpose for shifting her teaching approach in order to integrate these strategies for equitable student collaboration.

  • Resource Feature | May 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. The Wonderful World of Chemistry: A Magic Show!

    Given the value of chemistry demonstrations to learning, in 2019 the Yale Chemistry Department developed a successful outreach event called, “The Wonderful World of Chemistry: A Magic Show,” which was performed again in 2020 for students from local public schools. This hour-long lecture given by Yale Chemistry Department faculty and students was intended to introduce chemistry to upper-elementary and middle school students through a series of demonstrations. In this article, the authors provide teachers with information that will assist them in performing some of the most successful demonstrations in their own classrooms.

  • Classroom Commentary | May 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Real-World Chemistry: Making Chemistry More Relatable for Students

    The article describes a teacher’s efforts to help students better understand chemistry by connecting to concepts they encounter in their everyday lives. The author shares some examples from her classroom as well as a lab for readers to try with their own students.  

  • In My Element | May 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Achieving Balance: A Day in the Life of a Middle School Science Teacher

    In this article, middle school science teacher Scott Valenta reflects on his work/life balance, remembering the adage, “teaching is a marathon, not a sprint.” Scott makes plans to have a future with a healthier balance in his work life.

  • Resource Feature | March 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Cleaning Up the Lab

    In this article, the author discusses how the pandemic has created what might be an unobvious challenge for science teachers in many schools: a lack of custodial staff to help with keeping the lab space clean. With this in mind, she teaches her students the basics of cleaning up after a lab activity in order to make this behavior a part of their lab routine all year long.

  • Classroom Commentary | March 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Teachers of Young Students are Chemistry Teachers Too

    In this article, 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year and middle school science teacher Autumn Rivera encourages middle school and elementary school teachers to see themselves as chemistry teachers. She shares about how her own love and passion for science was fueled at a young age and knows that teachers of young students can have a similar positive impact. It’s clear that Middle and Elementary school teachers can have a wide range of teaching responsibilities, but if you look closely, you’ll find that most likely they are science teachers as well.

  • Tech Tips | March 2022 Access is an AACT member benefit. Teaching Chemistry in a Blended Learning Classroom: When to Go Digital and What to Take Offline

    In this article, the author discusses the blended chemistry classroom and provides recommendations for three instances when it is best to use digital teaching strategies, and three instances where offline approaches are most effective. Technology is an integral part to modern teaching, as evidenced by the emphasis placed on blended learning in many schools and classrooms. In order to effectively teach chemistry in a blended environment, however, it is crucial to know when technology is a benefit and when to stick with non-digital tools and activities.

  • Editorial | March 2022 Rejuvenating Your Passion for Teaching in the Midst of the Pandemic

    AACT President-Elect Matt Perekupka reflects on the difficulties teachers have faced in presenting high-quality lessons during the last two years of COVID-interrupted education. With an optimistic outlook for the future, he encourages teachers to embrace the changing world and to incorporate new teaching methods, ideas, and technology moving forward. He also highlights some of the newest chemistry teaching resources offered by AACT.

  • Resource Feature | March 2022 The Online Summer Food Lab

    Two teachers at an independent high school share about their inaugural experience designing and teaching a two-week summer mini-course, Chemistry of Cooking. This course, among others, was designed to engage incoming students with academic material, offer an opportunity to explore a topic of interest, and help students get to know each other and their teachers before the start of the school year. The authors were excited that it was also their own opportunity to learn about food chemistry — a new chemistry topic to explore beyond the scope of the usual tenth-grade course curriculum. In this article, they share about planning and designing the course, as well as ideas for how teachers might incorporate aspects of it into a homeschool, virtual, hybrid, or in-person chemistry classroom.

  • Classroom Commentary | November 2021 Arousing the Spirit of Inquiry

    Stories from the history of chemistry can serve as rich and stimulating complements to standard curricula in K-12 chemistry classrooms. Yet even when chemistry teachers have the curricular flexibility to build history lessons into their classes, students can often find this content dry or inaccessible. At the same time, fewer and fewer science centers and museums present content and artifacts on historical chemistry that educators can use to supplement classroom teaching. As ACS celebrates the 100th anniversary of the creation of its Division of the History of Chemistry, this essay reflects on the long-standing desire of chemistry teachers to weave history into chemistry classrooms, particularly by introducing students to the discipline’s material culture. This article highlights the work of the Science History Institute to share artifact- and image-driven stories from the history of chemistry on a digital platform.

  • Tech Tips | November 2021 Get Jammin’ in Chemistry!

    In this article, the author reflects on her use of Jamboard in the high school chemistry classroom. She shares tips and tricks for integrating Jamboard as an instructional tool for teaching both in-person and remotely. She also includes videos of Jamboard in action, as well as examples of graphics and templates that can be used in your own classroom.

  • Nuts & Bolts | November 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. Real-World Chemistry Learning Opportunities Are Right outside Your Door!

    How can we help students see the connections between various fields of study which are traditionally taught separately? With the Next Generation Science Standards in hand, and eyes newly opened to a multitude of resources, a chemistry teacher took his students to learn at a local wastewater treatment plant. It left a lasting impression.

  • Editorial | November 2021 Broadening Participation in Chemistry

    In this editorial, AACT Governing Board SOCED Representative Pamela Leggett-Robinson shares about her passion for broadening participation in chemistry so that all people, voices, and perspectives are given equal opportunity to contribute.

  • Resource Feature | November 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. Pigment pH Puzzles

    This article discusses an acid-base lab activity that can be completed in a virtual or in-person setting. The authors designed the lab so that students are first tasked with collecting and interpreting data. Then, using their scientific detective skills, the students determine the identity of various pigments in pH strips based on how they interact with several different solutions.