May 2017 | Editorial
The Future Looks Bright
By Scott Hawkins
As another school year comes to an end, I now look back at all that AACT has accomplished during the year. We have definitely grown by leaps and bounds, and our future looks bright! I would like to personally thank everyone who has contributed this past year: hosting or attending a webinar, contributing to Chemistry Solutions, submitting a lesson for our resource library, or simply promoting AACT in your schools, conferences, or social media.
A year in review
During the past year, we have established regional representatives, under the direction of our next president, current President-Elect Jenelle Ball. The representatives have been actively spreading the word about AACT, and presenting at conferences on the Association’s behalf. This first year for the program has definitely been a success, and holds a lot of promise for the future!
The Governing Board also established its first two committees: Nominations and Awards, and Membership Support Services. The committee members are laying the groundwork for these committees so they can provide additional resources and support for our members in the future.
During my tenure as president, I had the privilege to represent AACT at the NSTA Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. At these conferences, I had the opportunity to promote our revamped website and our many upcoming webinars. I also presented about AACT resources focused on improving safety in the high school laboratory. It was a great honor to represent AACT, and I feel that many teachers have come away impressed with our organization!
This July, the Governing Board will be meeting in Washington, DC to plan another year of events for AACT. I would like to congratulate the new president of AACT, Jenelle Ball. Jenelle has done a wonderful job as President-Elect, where she headed the inaugural group of Regional Representatives. She has many great ideas for the future of AACT, and I am confident we will be in good hands with her leadership. I would also like to thank Barbara Sitzman, who has served on the Governing Board for two years as President and Past-President. Her leadership was a huge asset for AACT during our first years of growth and development. Barbara will continue to serve on the Governing Board in her newly-elected role, as the Committee Representative. Congratulations, Barbara!
I would also like to congratulate and welcome our newly elected members to the Governing Board: our President-Elect Sherri Rukes, and our three grade-level Ambassadors: Bonnie Bloom, Jennifer Smith, and Jamie Doran! I look forward to the ideas that will be explored by these new members! The future of AACT looks bright!
AACT has many exciting events coming up this summer. There will be members and staff presenting and hosting exhibits at numerous conferences and gatherings across the country. We will continue our partnership with Dow, including hosting a teacher summit this June in Pennsylvania. Later, AACT will exhibit and present several workshops at the NSTA STEM Forum in Orlando, July 12-14. Also you can find AACT at the ChemEd conference in South Dakota, July 23-27. Finally if you haven’t had the opportunity to attend an ACS national meeting, consider participating in the Teacher Program activities in Washington, DC, August 20-24. If you can make it to any of these events, stop by and say hi!
AACT is also excited to offer another content writing team for members this summer. This team will focus on AP Chemistry topics.
Recharge with your member benefits
As the school year is coming to an end, we teachers are ready for a break. It is nice to “get away” with a good book, or catch up on your Netflix watch list. That is my plan as well, along with spending time at home with my two kids.
It is also understood (at least by those in the profession), that we take time during these summer months to “stay sharp.” A great way to do this is to check into teachchemistry.org a few times during the break. As of this summer AACT will have presented almost 60 webinars to date! As a bonus, members have access to the webinar archives. I plan on watching a few that I may have missed during the busy school year.
Also, in this edition of Chemistry Solutions, you can find many great articles. For example, if you’re not certain which books to indulge in this summer, Adrian Dingle shares his recommendations for your consideration. Have you considered using more Formative Assessment tools in the classroom, but aren’t sure how to get started? Jennifer Smith’s article can help you with just that! Climate change is an important topic we are constantly hearing about in the news today; it offers many connections to chemistry and your students can benefit from learning about it in your chemistry curriculum. Another great safety resource focused on the recent change from MSDS to SDS provides great insights about how this change affects you as a chemistry teacher! If you are an AP teacher, like me, you might be looking for fresh ideas for working with your AP students during the weeks after the exam in May. If so, consider this great project idea. Finally, another chemistry teacher shares his untraditional journey to the classroom.
You can also check out AACT’s resource library. The number of labs, activities, multimedia, and other lesson plans has grown immensely over the last few years: we’ve added over 100 new resources since the beginning of this school year alone! There is so much to choose from if you are looking for that one lesson that will make your teaching better. And while you are there, get involved in a discussion on the new discussion board, or check out some of the back issues of Chemistry Solutions for an article you may have missed, or a favorite one you want to read again.
Do you have a resource to share? Is there a topic about teaching chemistry you are passionate about? AACT would love to hear from you! And the summer is a great time to work with the editorial staff of Chemistry Solutions or submit a contribution to the resource library.
This is such a great organization, and the teachers in our community are great people! I am thankful to be a part of this group, whose members are so passionate about teaching chemistry. I look forward to many great years as we grow bigger and better! It has been an honor to serve as president of AACT this year. I thank everyone for their support, and give best wishes to our future leaders!
AACT President, 2016-2017