On September 2, the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) launched its official website, loaded with lots of resources and member benefits. If you visit teachchemistry.org, you will find many great tools that K–12 teachers of chemistry can use in their classrooms; the new online periodical, Chemistry Solutions; professional development opportunities; and a community for you, in addition to many other benefits.
In August, AACT started accepting charter members. Now that content is available, we invite you to browse the updated site, see what AACT has to offer, and join. Annual membership dues are $50 for teachers and those interested in chemistry education and $25 for preservice teachers.
On the website, AACT offers members three original multimedia series: one that focuses on the founders of chemistry, a set of animations that help explain why macroscopic properties are observed based on what happens at the particulate level, and one that is inspired and hosted by New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean about the elements on the periodic table, based on his book The Disappearing Spoon.
The website also features a collection of lessons, labs, activities, and other resources that members of the chemistry community shared with AACT throughout the summer. The collection will grow over time—we are still reviewing submissions from the wildly successful campaign!
Chemistry Solutions is another member benefit. It is a periodical written by and for K–12 teachers of chemistry. Each issue includes tips and stories from teachers of chemistry as well as a featured simulation. In this issue, a PhET simulation about balancing chemical equations is highlighted. AACT partnered with PhET to help modify an existing animation so that it can be used on all digital platforms. Also featured in this issue of Chemistry Solutions is a tech tip article about familiar resources to ChemEd X users! Also, the editorial explains more about the formation and goals of AACT.
To help reduce the isolation many teachers of chemistry report feeling, AACT offers web-based professional development. Each of these one-hour sessions will provide attendees with information they can use directly in their classroom. Hangouts are another way teachers can gather virtually, and they can discuss tips and content-related topics with an experienced teacher. Kathy Kitzmann, the 2014 Conant Award winner, will host a hangout on September 25.
To learn about other AACT member benefits, visit teachchemistry.org, and if you have questions you can always contact the team at AACT@acs.org. We’ve been working for months on assembling and delivering a host of resources that you can benefit from and use. Please check out what we have to offer, join the community, and help make teachers of chemistry feel more connected to one another!