Dow Chemical has pledged $1 million and become the sole founding partner of the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), the first national membership organization for K–12 teachers of chemistry. AACT was formed by the American Chemical Society late last year.
Over the next four years, Dow and AACT will work together to convene a series of teacher summits and create more than 750 lesson plans, multimedia resources, demonstrations, and other high-quality chemistry teaching materials for use in K–12 classrooms. The partnership promotes the main goal of AACT: to provide its members with resources that foster top-notch chemistry instruction grounded in everyday life (C&EN, Sept. 1, 2014, page 65).
“At Dow, we value teachers’ critical role, both in inspiring chemistry excitement and in helping students to gain the key skills they need to be successful in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] careers,” says Andrew N. Liveris, Dow chairman and chief executive officer. “As the founding partner of this program, we are proud to collaborate with ACS on this first-of-its-kind community to empower chemistry teachers inside and outside of the classroom as they work to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Dow to support teachers of chemistry across the country and develop the workforce of tomorrow,” says Madeleine Jacobs, executive director and CEO of ACS, which publishes C&EN. “We are exceptionally grateful to Dow for its generosity.”
Dow and AACT will begin hosting their teacher summits throughout the U.S. this summer; the first one will take place in Midland, Mich., where Dow has its corporate headquarters. During these weeklong conferences, 30 prominent chemistry teachers from nearby communities will work with Dow volunteers, known as Dow STEM Ambassadors, to identify gaps in K–12 classroom resources. Then the teachers will develop lesson plans, multimedia presentations, and other materials that better meet those needs. The ambassadors will also provide resources to help teachers introduce potential career opportunities to students.
The materials developed at the summits will be available to all AACT members via the association’s website, www.teachchemistry.org.
Dow has previously backed ACS-sponsored educational efforts. The company pledged $2.5 million to support the 2012 International Chemistry Olympiad hosted by ACS in College Park, Md.