high school chemistry

ACS Publications Editors' Choice articles

Every day, one new peer-reviewed research article from any ACS journal will be selected to be freely available and remain open access for all to read. These articles are selected based upon recommendations by editors of ACS Journals and made available as a service to the global research community. 


An Elemental Understanding of Isotopes

In this activity, students can look inside the model that resembles the atom and find information that reinforces what an isotope actually is. Furthermore, the quantitative data forces students to examine beliefs about different types of averages and what the numbers really mean. This takes a bit of effort to set up but is inexpensive and can be used year after year.

Time required: 

About 30-40 minutes for the activity. This depends on how many balances are available to share and how many different isotopes are made for a single element. We had 5 balances for 12 or 13 teams of two students. Students can work in groups of 3 as well.

A Comparison Between Teaching Chemistry in the United States and Internationally

Whenever I’m asked where I live and what I do, I answer with “I’m a teacher overseas.” The immediate response from people is “English? Peace Corps?” I am a high school science teacher at the American School of Dubai. There is a misconception that teaching somewhere else in the world is drastically different than teaching right in your backyard, and it really isn’t. 

Literacy Stations in the Chemistry Classroom

I took a tip from the elementary school teachers and created literacy stations to help increase the amount of reading and writing in my classroom. Literacy centers support students by arming them with the tools to utilize when examining text documents, charts, graphs, pictures etc. to take the content and make it comprehensible. Here I will provide examples of literacy centers I utilize in my classroom.

That’s What Scientists Do!

As I began to prepare my labs for this upcoming year, I decided to put a bit of a twist on a previous density of a block lab I had used in the past entitled the Measurement Challenge that is sold by Flinn Scientific. It can also be used to find the mass of a block given the materials density and requiring students to measure and calculate the blocks volume. My added twist resulted in great scientific discourse. 

My Research: Unpacking Active Learning

Does flipping the classroom actually enhance students’ learning, above and beyond just incorporating collaborative activities into classroom instruction? John Moore, one of the chemistry professors at my university, the University of Wisconsin - Madison approached me with this question. We ended up conducting a research study on one of his chemistry courses.

Elements and Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a type of technology that uses an app to turn a hidden QR code into a three dimensional object on a screen as viewed by your camera. Elements 4D attempts to bring augmented reality to chemistry.