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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Resource Feature | September 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Lab Safety Teaching Resources for the Chemistry Classroom

    This article provides an introduction to the ACS lab safety videos and demonstrates ways to implement the videos into a 5E lesson plan. Specific resources and activities are provided to integrate safety into chemistry lesson plans.

  • 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.

  • Resource Feature | May 2020 Using Escape Rooms in the Chemistry Classroom

    In this resource feature article, the author describes her use of two escape room activities in the chemistry classroom. One activity was used in AP Chemistry as an assessment, while the other used in a first-year chemistry class as a test review. She shares her successes, challenges, and lessons learned, and encourages other teachers to try these and other escape room-themed activities in their own classrooms.

  • Classroom Commentary | May 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Part 4: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    This is the fourth and final article in a series about teaching earth chemistry. It is an examination of how earth materials break down physically and chemically, resulting in new chemistry and creating landscapes around us. The author provides an accompanying activity that directs students on how to examine their local earth chemistry.

  • Resource Feature | May 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Molecules that Changed the World: A Molecular Modeling Project

    In this article, the author shares about a successful culminating project that she uses in her classroom. Students select from an approved list (that ranges in level of difficulty) a molecule that has changed the world. Each molecule is one that they encounter in the real world, and students are asked to research about its uses, physical and chemical properties, structure, synthesis reaction, by-products, environmental issues, related current events, and more. Additionally, students build a three-dimensional model of their molecule, which they present to the class with an accompanying oral presentation.

  • Resource Feature | March 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Teaching Periodic Trends with a Popular Card Game

    In this article, the author describes how she was inspired by the rules and spirit of the well-known card game, War, to help her students test their knowledge of the periodic trends. She shares about how she uses her version, which she calls Periodic War, in the classroom, and discusses student learning outcomes, as well as difficulties and successes that she has encountered when using it as a teaching activity in her classroom.

  • Classroom Commentary | March 2020 Access is an AACT member benefit. Part 3: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    This is the third article in a series about teaching earth chemistry. The focus of this piece is discussing and investigating how the partial melting of rocks related to plate tectonics occurs, and its effects on volcano behavior.

  • Resource Feature | November 2019 Access is an AACT member benefit. Navigating the Periodic Table Guided by Nested Russian Dolls

    The authors describe a lesson they developed collaboratively to teach elementary students about the structure and shape of periodic table using a set of Russian “nesting dolls.” Building on that understanding, they teach students how to navigate the periodic table, identify specific elements by atomic number, analyze several element samples, and determine the identity of a mystery material.

  • Resource Feature | November 2019 Access is an AACT member benefit. Part 2: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    The second in a series of articles, the author focuses on using a phenomenon-based approach to investigate how density effects the chemical compositions of the two types of crust on the surface of the earth. He also demonstrates how the entire earth is arranged by density from the core to the top of the atmosphere — expanding the potential applications of density concepts beyond the lab.

  • Classroom Commentary | September 2019 Access is an AACT member benefit. It’s Elementary: We all Teach Chemistry!

    In this article, the author affirms that elementary science teachers are chemistry teachers. She offers examples for connecting chemistry to space science, specifically using NASA resources, as well as examples for identifying other chemistry content connections in a science curriculum.

  • Resource Feature | September 2019 Access is an AACT member benefit. Part 1: Teaching Earth Chemistry

    In this article, the author shares some introductory information as well reasons for teachers to integrate the chemistry of the earth in their chemistry curriculum. This article is the first in a series of articles on earth chemistry, and discusses building the content, making connections with existing chemistry content, and seeing examples of the relevance of the subject.

  • Resource Feature | May 2019 Modeling Polarity

    In this article, the authors share about two kinesthetic-based activities used to successfully help students develop an understanding of polarity. The first activity focuses on conceptualizing the polarity of a bond, and the second activity allows them to apply that knowledge to determine the polarity of a molecule.

  • Resource Feature | November 2018 Taking Inspiration from the AP Chemistry Reading

    In this article, the author describes how her experience at the AP Chemistry Reading inspires lesson ideas to help address common misconceptions. In her engaging classroom activity, students model equilibrium reactions using chips to represent atoms in an effort to connect the symbolic model of an equilibrium reaction to its particle model.

  • Nuts & Bolts | May 2018 Access is an AACT member benefit. Strategies for Teaching SPED and EL Students in the Chemistry Classroom

    The article explores several different strategies for teaching EL and SPED students in the high school chemistry classroom.

  • Classroom Commentary | May 2018 Access is an AACT member benefit. The AP Chem Exam is Over - Now What?

    This article discusses a short course in computational chemistry, designed for AP Chemistry teachers and students, primarily to be used for chemistry enrichment following the completion of the AP Chemistry exam.

  • Resource Feature | November 2017 Access is an AACT member benefit. A Particulate Representation of Molarity

    In addition to using a simple activity about investigating the differences Kool-Aid concentration and completing molarity calculations, students work with pictures at the particle level to develop a deeper understanding of solutions and molarity.

  • Resource Feature | September 2017 Introducing the Chemistry of Color: A Resource Collection

    This article highlights a set of lessons developed by a team of content writers, sponsored by PPG, using color as a general theme. The lessons use chemistry to explore various aspects of the science behind paints and coatings.

  • Nuts & Bolts | September 2017 Access is an AACT member benefit. Helping Students Use their English Language Skills

    This article describes five assignments and projects that are aimed to help all students improve their English language skills.

  • Resource Feature | September 2017 Access is an AACT member benefit. ​Increasing Student Comprehension of VSEPR Theory​

    In the activity described in this article, students construct physical models of molecular shapes. However, students are not told what the preferred arrangements of electron pair domains are. Instead, they derive the arrangements. Students are given the opportunity to conceptualize what is happening when one electron pair domain acts upon another, and to understand how those interactions result in the molecular geometries predicted by VSEPR theory. As an outcome of examining the physical basis of the VSEPR model, students should have a much better grasp of the implications of electron pair repulsions on molecular shape, and should be better able to understand, communicate, and apply that understanding.