Primarily, this warehouse of information is teacher-geared. Use safety guides to clarify or review good operating procedures. Rely on them should you (for instance) need to make sure your shared goggles aren’t transmitting head lice. If you’re choosing textbooks, look here for downloadable curriculum spanning pre-K to undergrad. Keep tabs on professional development opportunities and prospects for kids (Project SEED). You may want to bookmark pages or download guides you use often to streamline your clicking.
High school chemistry teachers will definitely want to add the ChemMatters magazine to their routine. Use articles to start discussions or extend lessons. Take note of the (brilliant) “Emergency Lesson Plans” –- just in case. Elementary and middle school teachers will find the “Adventures in Chemistry” page a great school-to-home science link. Experiments include videos, clear instructions, and explanations for families to make sense of the activities.Continue reading Show less
The American Chemical Society (ACS) happens to be the world’s largest scientific society, and strives (it claims) to be a “force of good” in the ever-developing world of global chemicals. Its website is home to a vast array of information. From the education homepage, a side menu addresses major topics: educators, students, explore chemistry, community outreach, and professional education for scientists. Each one of these has a variety of related tabs for ages and topics. Teachers will find curriculum, publications, safety guidelines, professional development opportunities, and even outreach events (like National Chemistry Week). A few links take users to ACS-supported sites (like inquiryinaction.org). Visitors will want to notice the short video on the education homepage, which is a sample from the ACS’s amazing YouTube channel: Reactions.
- Reactions -- The ACS's YouTube channel publishes this superb series of short videos, focused on the chemistry of real world phenomena (movie explosions, moisturizers).
- ChemMatters -- ACS’s print and online publication for high school students highlights relevant connections in chemistry topics to kids’ lives (nutrition, smartphones, “chemical-free” products). The coordinating teacher guides are thorough and informative. There is a cost for the monthly subscription, but some articles are always available for free.
- Bugs on the Run (within Adventures in Chemistry) -- Geared toward upper-elementary and middle school, this is one of the site’s only interactive experiences. Though simple, it includes a powerful image of moving molecules adjusting platforms, as well as pop-up facts on molecules.
- Science ABC’s (within Adventures in Chemistry) -- This pre-K through early-elementary curriculum is available in print or pdf, comes with coordinating videos, and is spot-on science fun for youngsters.
The ACS site does something important but uncommon: Their chemistry information is constantly connected to real-world, relevant topics. The Reactions video channel and ChemMatters HS magazine are great examples. Still, the site could do with a little upgrade to their content geared directly to kids; an updated interface, more info via video (such as for Chemistry Olympiad), and more games vetted (or created) by the experts could make a big impact.
Teachers will relish their learning opportunities. Find substantial and accessible information, especially on current topics like green chemistry. Teacher guides (like those for ChemMatters) provide background info, content tie-ins, reading support, and connections to common student misconceptions. We’re talking about the kind of rich, conscientious explanations that intrigue your mind, yet relax your shoulders!
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.
Matter and Its Interactions
Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay.
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.