The Big Idea from AACT: Resources and the Power of Sharing

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One of the things that I enjoy most about teaching is designing curriculum - introducing new activities and experiences for my students and myself. I am able to set up a flow of learning that I hope will lift my students to higher levels of thinking, deeper understanding, and an appreciation for the relevance of chemistry in our society. Even now, at the beginning of the second half of the school year, I look for ways to improve my curriculum. But without great resources, one can’t create an excellent curriculum.

In the resources offered by AACT, I have found the building blocks for an excellent curriculum. Part of what makes these resources so fabulous is the fact that they have been written by other teachers, so they can be used as written. The student handouts and teacher notes with answer keys make them easy to implement in any classroom. For an experienced teacher, the resources are also easy to incorporate into the curriculum slot that you are developing. All of the supporting documents come in a Microsoft Word version that can be easily edited. Many of the newer resources are aligned with NGSS and the AP resources are aligned to the six big ideas from the College Board. This can save a lot of time!

The number of resources is another real plus in developing your curriculum. There are nearly 700 resources (labs, activities and demonstrations) available through the AACT website. These resources are grouped by grade band: elementary, middle school and high school. The resources are then subdivided into topics such as chemistry basics, acids & bases, and atomic structure. One can search the resources by topic, type of resource and specialty area such as Advanced Placement.

In addition to the classroom resources on the website, AACT also offers webinars throughout the school year on various topics related to teaching in the chemistry classroom. One recent example is the webinar given by Tom Kuntzleman, who is also an associate editor for ChemEd X. In this webinar, Tom shared a huge number of experiments and demonstrations. Not only did he share his video of each one, he also included an article from the Journal of Chemical Education that gives further background and details on each experiment. This is a real treasure chest of resources that is safely stored on the AACT website for members to continue to access.

Chemistry Experiments with Familiar, Inexpensive, and Easily Obtained Materials

WEBINAR (62 minutes) recorded January 30, 2019

Presenter: Tom Kuntzleman, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, MI

There are more webinars coming that are sure to offer fabulous resources and I encourage you to check out the full schedule:

All of the resources are the result of teachers sharing with other teachers. This incredible gift gives teachers the ability to develop excellent curriculum for students. If you are not yet a member of AACT, you can explore unlocked resources here:

Through the e-mail newsletter, AACTconnect, you can get notices about upcoming resources, events, and opportunities. I hope you will check out our website or connect with us through social media (Twitter & Facebook). I enthusiastically invite you to get involved.

Thank you for the opportunity to share information about AACT with the ChemEdX community. I wish everyone a fabulous second half to your school year and hope you will choose to incorporate a new resource or two into your curriculum.

Jenelle Ball

AACT Immediate Past President