Classroom CommentaryOnline 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.
Lessons by teachers with their inspiration for the activity or tips for how to implement the lesson.
Resource FeatureCreative 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 FeatureA Green Chemistry Guided-Inquiry Lab
Designing Biomimetic Songbird Preen Oil from Waste Cooking Oil
In this article, the authors share insights about how they used a guided-inquiry lab about biomimetic preen oil to expose students to the topics of green chemistry and biomimicry, topics not commonly covered in high school chemistry curricula. While preen oil occurs naturally when birds secrete it to protect their feathers, it can also be created by reacting waste cooking oil in a blue cheese slurry, with the mold Penicillium roqueforti producing methyl ketones, an important antibacterial compound. The authors discuss the implementation and results of a guided-inquiry lab in which students design, test, and evaluate their own procedure using biomimicry and green chemistry principles.
Reflections and perspectives by teachers about topics that affect chemistry education.
Classroom CommentaryGetting the Facts Out About Secondary Chemistry Teaching
Misperceptions about careers in STEM secondary school teaching keep interested students from pursuing teaching and also explain why some chemistry educators may not recommend that their most successful students explore careers in teaching. The U.S. has a shortage of STEM teachers in middle and high school, and highlighting the facts about STEM teaching can help to address this predicament. Get the Facts Out is an NSF-funded project designed to give chemistry educators the tools to explain and correct misperceptions, with data on salary, benefits, and career satisfaction of STEM secondary school teachers. Chemistry educators at all levels can access the Get the Facts Out toolkit that includes resources to share with students, colleagues, and administrators — and in the process, become change agents in this crucial conversation.
How to incorporate technology into your chemistry classroom.
Tech TipsRemote 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.
In My Element
Stories about teachers finding their way to the chemistry classroom.
In My ElementI Was Always Meant to be a Teacher
Meet Jonté Lee, chemistry teacher. In this article, read about his non-traditional path to a traditional career. Lee started out in corporate America, but now finds himself loving a career as a high school chemistry teacher. Additionally, learn about his inspiring transformation of his kitchen into a chemistry lab to overcome challenges of virtual teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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EditorialTackling Change and Challenges
In this editorial, AACT Governing Board SOCED Representative Amy Nicely shares about her experience teaching chemistry labs in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although her lab looks a little different today, she feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach students in-person. Learn about the modified procedures and new protocols that have been essential to her success.
animationClassifying Chemical Reactions Animation
In this animation, students will learn about some of the ways to classify different types of chemical reactions. It covers synthesis (combination), decomposition, single replacement (single displacement), double replacement (double displacement), combustion, and acid-base neutralization reactions.
Chemistry FunCommon Ion Memory Game
In this activity, students will play a modified version of the classic Memory Game in order to help identify common ions by name and symbol. This activity provides an opportunity for students to increase their familiarity with the names and formulas of common ions that they will be expected to properly use when they begin writing chemical formulas and reactions.
Teacher 2 Teacher
Chemistry teachers, how are you starting the school year? #chemchat— AACT (@AACTconnect) October 20, 2020
I have really lagged in this area. Right now going to the gym is my main method of recharging.
I play with my dog at lunch time and spend a few minutes in my garden if possible after teaching.
Choosing a day where I don’t do any work.