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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Resource Feature | September 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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!

  • 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.

  • Classroom Commentary | May 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • Nuts & Bolts | May 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.  

  • Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • 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.

  • Nuts & Bolts | March 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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

  • Tech Tips | March 2021 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • 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.

  • Resource Feature | November 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • Tech Tips | November 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

  • Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Mole of Reaction: Application in Limiting Reactants

    In this article, the author describes the use of mole of reaction in limiting reactant calculations in first-year advanced chemistry. In addition to describing how mole of reaction was used in limiting reactant calculations (including advantages and drawbacks), the author also describes how introducing mole of reaction in first-year chemistry impacts students’ subsequent use of this unit in AP Chemistry.

  • Resource Feature | September 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Using an Online Meeting Scavenger Hunt to Offer Kinesthetic Learning

    In this article, the author describes her use of an online scavenger hunt activity during remote learning. This activity offers students an engaging opportunity for kinesthetic learning and class discussion, while learning about the chemistry in their everyday life.

  • Nuts & Bolts | September 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Using Sketch Notes in the Chemistry Lab

    Sketch noting is an alternate method of flowcharting for chemistry labs. In this article, the author shares about the implementation of sketch notes in her chemistry classroom. Additionally, she highlights specific areas where she has seen improvement by her students, including student safety, laboratory skills, content knowledge, and confidence.