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“If you only see one movie this year … make it [fill in name of latest, greatest movie here].” Movie poster cliché? Yes.

What about: “If you only read one journal issue this year … make it the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.” Cliché? Perhaps—or just good advice.

J. Chem. Educ. recently posted its January 2014 issue online. Typically, one has to subscribe to read the full text of most of the articles. However, this issue serves as its sample issue for the year, and it’s positively packed with good reads for high school chemistry educators.

First up on my radar was George M. Bodner’s commentary “Creation of an American Association of Chemistry Teachers.” He discusses the American Chemical Society’s decision this past fall to create the AACT for K–12 chemistry teachers. I was at the ACS High School Day program in Indianapolis when Bodner stepped in to our meeting room to share this momentous news. Learn about it in the article, then stay up-to-date on what’s going on with the planned September 2014 launch for AACT by entering your email address at Additional articles share further perspectives on the new association, including comments from the current J. Chem. Educ. high school editors.

The photos for “Antimicrobial Properties of Spices: An Activity for High School or Introductory Chemistry or Biology” caught my eye. Food is typically a very popular topic among ChemClubs. This activity looks at the antimicrobial properties of spices such as cinnamon and cloves. Students can observe the effect of using these spices on a dessert. The “Supporting Information” link for this article has a student activity worksheet you can download.

Don’t miss out on your free chemistry samples. Jump to the free issue, skim through the table of contents, and see what grabs your interest. From there, download a pdf or print out a copy of your favorite articles to use in your classroom, share with a colleague, or just file away in a “Try This!” folder. What did you find?

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