May 2021

Featured Article

Classroom Commentary

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.

Classroom Commentary

Reflections and perspectives by teachers about topics that affect chemistry education.

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

Functional tips you can implement in your classroom.

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.  

In My Element

Stories about teachers finding their way to the chemistry classroom.

Access is an AACT member benefit. 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.

Teacher 2 Teacher

@AACTconnect asked:

You Answered:

Honestly, it's been a mixed bag. My #ibhlchem class ended early with everyone passing and great scores. Had some of them for 3 years straight. #apchem is ready, one of the best groups I've ever had. #chem has done some deep theoretical work but is light on practical. #aact


My classes are more aligned to state standards. With limited time and (emotional and physical) energy: gotta hone stuff down. We have a new method for exams: 1) students complete take-home test, 2) graded exam asks Qs about take-home test. Higher rigor, lower stress. Win-win.


I am excited about all the supplemental resources @czavacki and I will have for next year. While I am excited to infuse more kinesthetic activities, labs for normal in-person learning, I am happy we have video recordings of lessons, Phenomena discussions on google slides. @nearpod presentations that I can reuse for formative checks. Most of all I am excited that this year many educators realized grace is more important than grades. I love the #ungrading and the #equity discussions and I hope that gives rise to many changes in education.


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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.


Galvanic/Voltaic Cells

In this simulation, students select different metals and aqueous solutions to build a galvanic/voltaic cell that generates electrical energy and observe the corresponding oxidation and reduction half reactions.

Chemistry Fun

Access is an AACT member benefit. Reviewing the Periodic Table and Periodic Trends

In this activity, students will use their knowledge of the periodic table and periodic trends to add fictional elements to a periodic table based on their properties. Once the elements are in the correct place they will reveal a hidden message. This review activity will help students prepare for a summative assessment such as a unit test or final exam.