During the National Science Teachers Association’s annual meeting in March, the American Chemical Society (ACS) introduced a free, online middle school chemistry curriculum that correlates with national standards. The curriculum is a response to President Obama’s call to strengthen U.S. science education, the ACS said. All of the experiments offer simple activities that teach the most important—and some of the most abstract—concepts of chemistry, such as how molecules attract each other. Veteran eighth-grade science teacher Chris Herald of Eisenhower Middle School in Manhattan, Kan., has tested the curriculum. “I’m anxious to use it,” Herald said in a press release. “I think the visuals are really nice. In a textbook, there’s no motion and no color, and you can’t see the sharing of the covalent bonds. The video shows what happens with the electrons. And each segment is short, so it is very useable. These days, every minute counts in the classroom. It’s easy to navigate the web pages, and it’s free.” http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com

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Jeff Festa