The American Association of Chemistry Teachers, in partnership with Dow Chemical, has launched a series of teacher summits to create lesson plans, multimedia resources, demonstrations, and other teaching materials for use in K–12 classrooms.
The first of these summits took place in Midland and East Lansing, Mich., on July 20–24, and it drew 28 chemistry teachers from the surrounding area. Other summits will take place within Dow communities across the country; the summits are supported by a four-year, $1 million contribution from Dow to AACT.
“The Dow and AACT summits are a mechanism to establish learning communities among the participants and create great teaching resources that use real-world examples,” says Adam Boyd, AACT program director at ACS. “The network that is formed among the attendees will be a nucleation point for the formation of a broader AACT community centered around the need for trustworthy, useful teaching resources written by teachers for teachers.”
During the weeklong summits, teachers work with Dow volunteers, known as Dow STEM Ambassadors, to develop innovative classroom materials, such as career-based teaching examples that can help students explore future career possibilities.
“Talking to teachers of chemistry from other grade levels has been really valuable,” says Mark Hackbarth, a teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Midland, Mich. “Teachers don’t often have time for the types of in-depth conversations we’ve had here.”
“By bringing together Dow STEM Ambassadors—with their knowledge of Dow’s research and application expertise—and educators—with their experience in the classroom—we were able to reach understandings that none of us could have on our own,” says Jaime Curtis-Fisk, R&D scientist and program leader for the Dow STEM Ambassadors. “The big winners in all this are the students who will enjoy a more enlightened exposure to chemistry than was possible before.”
Materials developed through the summits will be available on the AACT website at www.teachchemistry.org.
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