AACT: A Great Resource for Teachers of Chemistry

AACT logo The American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) officially launched in September. As a ChemClub advisor, you can further supplement your students’ chemistry experiences by joining for the annual fee of only $50, and preservice teachers can join at the discounted price of $25.

Some member benefits include being part of a community of K–12 teachers of chemistry, access to high-quality resources, and subscriptions to the ACS publication ChemMatters and the new AACT online periodical Chemistry Solutions, which is written by and for teachers of chemistry.

AACT’s website has collections of original multimedia that may be of interest to ChemClubs. AACT partnered with New York Times bestseller Sam Kean to bring his book “The Disappearing Spoon” to life—each short video in the series features Sam narrating a story inspired by his book about various elements.

There is also a series of videos about the founders of chemistry: Learn about Mendeleev’s journey to assemble the periodic table, the ancient chemists who paved the road for what chemistry is today, the first female Nobel Laureate Marie Curie’s life story, and others.

One mission of ChemClubs is to provide students with fun, authentic, and hands-on opportunities. The library of classroom resources on AACT’s site includes lessons from teachers across the country and around the world. Peruse the collection and try some of the demonstrations with your club members. Safety precautions in each lesson are outlined in detail, so if you have an outreach program, you can gauge right away whether the activity is appropriate for your students to run, or whether it should be facilitated by an instructor. AACT has a number of lessons that are designed for student-to-student interactions, including this cabbage activity. And if you have a great activity you’ve done with a club, you can submit it to the AACT library, and AACT will credit your ChemClub with its contribution.

Ferrous WheelIn each issue of Chemistry Solutions there is a column called Chemistry Fun! In the September issue, the column featured pictograms of phrases that were puns of chemistry concepts. For example, what is this? Your club members may get a kick out of activities included in this column.

You can subscribe to AACT email updates by completing the “Stay in Touch” field in the footer of teachchemistry.org. Or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest for other news and information from AACT. We are excited to be part of the K–12 chemistry community, so share with us ideas you have by emailing AACT@acs.org.

High School Day at the ACS SF National Meeting

Chemistry & Global Stewardship
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The Golden Gate Bridge–A San Francisco Icon

It has been nearly 50 years since the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco, and this summer you will find a great deal more to love at the 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, August 10-14.  A highlight of the meeting for chemical educators occurs on Sunday, August 10th with the presentation of High School Day.

The American Chemical Society hosts a special High School Chemistry Day program for teachers as part of the program as each National Meeting. Presentations explore new methods of teaching, classroom tools, resources, activities on a range of topics. A special High School/College Interface Luncheon allows an opportunity to exchange ideas and network.

 

Ideas for Your Classroom-and Beyond

The theme of this meeting is Chemistry & Global Stewardship so it it appropriate that Mary Kirchoff, Director of ACS Education should lead off the day of activities with an explanation global stewardship and how chemistry is a part of the process.Moscone

Green Chemistry is featured in most of the sessions that run from 8am to 4pm at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco.

Other sessions cover ‘greener’ activities from the Journal of Chemical Education, an exploration of bioplastics, and a calorimetry lab using chemical hot packs.

View all the abstracts for High School Day.

More than 15,000 scientists are expected to attend, and over 11,000 presentations are slated, comprised of symposia that highlight a broad range of scientific advancement.

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Professional Documentation

Attendees can track professional development (based on clock hours) for sessions attended at the ACS national meeting. On completion and submission of ACS forms, participants will be mailed a certificate documenting their participation in the conference.

If your summer plans allow you to travel to San Francisco, plan on attending the ACS National Meeting and High School Day, you’ll be sure to find something you love!

A Grand Summer Conference – BCCE

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Summer conferences are a great way to get a load of professional development in science education while at the same time having a chance to meet other teachers from around the nation.

One of the premier summer conferences is the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE), which is coming up August 3-7 at Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The BCCE is a national meeting sponsored by the Division of Chemical Education (DivCHED) of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Since 1970 the conference has been designed and planned for those who teach chemistry, from teachers who are just starting their careers to those who have years of teaching experience. It includes educators at all levels: secondary school science teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, and post-secondary chemistry faculty. This conference is an excellent source of materials, techniques, and chemistry content.

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The theme of the 2014 BCCE is “Empowering Chemical Educators for a Greener Tomorrow.” Via special symposia and workshops, the conference will highlight efforts in bringing sustainable chemistry to the classroom. In addition, there are nearly 300 sessions offered over the course of four days on topics ranging from “The Automobile and the Periodic Table” to “Web-based Resources for Chemical Education” to “Views from the Classrooms of Conant and Regional Award Winners.”

Summer is a time teachers like to spend with family and the organizers of BCCE have a number of extra events for attendees and their families, such as a lake cruise on a research ship or a ride on the Saugatuck Sand Dunes.  The Lonely Planet Guides recently named Grand Rapids and the Gold Coast area as the #1 tourist destination in the U.S.!

Professional development, meeting new colleagues, improving your chemical knowledge, fun time with your family? It all adds up to a grand time at Grand Valley State University.