High School Chemistry Report, Winter 2012

Submitted by Richard Goodman and Jeff Hepburn, Co-Chairs

The High School Committee hosted two Birds of a Feather meetings at the BCCE at Penn State University last summer.  Committee members Ellen Yezierski and Rich Goodman hosted the meetings organized by Alice Putti. Mary Shoemaker collected the following comments offered by the more than the 75 people present at each meeting:

High school educators present at Penn State were generally pleased with the high school program and offered the following suggestions for improving high school participation and involvement at future BCCE Meetings:

  • Place the name of the participants high school on the badge and have a badge of a distinguishing color identifying them as high school educators.
  • Have a High School Symposium and include talks and papers on:
  • Differences in private and public accreditation.
  • Flip instruction.
  • Integration in K-16 chemistry instruction.
  • Serving under-represented groups in STEM.
  • Planning and implementing a summer chemistry camp.
  • Revamping and re-evaluating the AP/IB chemistry curricula.
  • Promoting interaction between schools of science and schools of education to improve chemistry teacher preparation and instruction.
  • Grant writing for high school teachers and small funding sources.
  • Host group talks, panel discussions and specialty workshops for high school teachers similar to what is offered at NSTA.
  • Do not have presentations for high school educators separated from other presentations. 
  • Mark presentations specifically geared to high school teachers with a gray shade.
  • Have an informal high school social early in the conference so that participants can meet before Birds of a Feather meetings.
  • Have a High School lounge, a space where teachers can meet throughout the conference, leave notes and share resources.  This could perhaps be sponsored by Flinn, Educational Innovations, etc.
  • Disseminate BCCE registration information to state and local science coordinators so teachers can plan for it in their budgets early in the school year.
  • Add additional technical sessions (10:30am-12:00 and 12:00pm-2:00.)  There too many interesting sessions occurring at the same time.
  • Tape and broadcast the plenary sessions and major talks and presentations.
  • Sponsor the Mole Run again and a Mole Day breakfast
  • Have BCCE tee (golf) shirts available for purchase at the conference or pre-order them on the registration form with sizes. 

High School Committee member Laura Slocum was named the High School Program Chair for the BCCE in Northern Colorado in 2016.  Erica Jacobson and Laura organized the symposia highlighting former Conant awardees, including Rich Goodman, Co Chair of the High School Committee.   The newly published "ACS Guidelines for High School Chemistry Classes" made its debut and was disseminated to interested participants.  It was well received.

The National Meeting in Philadelphia last summer had 110 participants at their High School Chemistry Day Program.  Committee members Laura Slocum and Ellen Yezierski were presenters and Analice Sowell was present.  The materials ACS provided were a big hit.  It was suggested that the presentation on the "Guidelines for High School Chemistry Classes" be offered by a current high school teacher or someone more intimately involved in high school chemistry education.  Analice offered to make the presentation in New Orleans this spring. 

Update on the formation of an ACS sponsored and supported High School Chemistry Teacher Organization:  Terry Taylor has reported the program funding request has been passed onto the Budget and Finance Committee and will be voted on at the Board meeting in Early December.  The request, originally to be presented at the Philadelphia meeting was deferred to the December meeting to allow adequate time to address questions raised by the Budget and Finance Subcommittee (responsible for considering new program funding requests) just prior to the Philadelphia meeting.  

The next big conference event that will highlight high school chemistry education  will be next summer when the University of Waterloo will host ChemEd 2013.  It is back at the place where it began in 1973 and will be held July 28 to August 1, 2013.  It is an opportunity for educators to share their teaching experiences, classroom innovations, and laboratory experiments at the largest conference in North America focused on high school and introductory chemistry. Go to www.uwaterloo.ca/chemed2013/ for additional information.  Please consider attending, presenting and sharing.

The 2014 BCCE (Greener on the Grand) will be held at Grand Valley State University in Western Michigan, August 3 - 7 2014.  The website  www.bcce2014.org  is already up and running.  Their presence at Penn State was apparent and the input they received from the high school participants, including the members of the High School Committee, was promised to be included in the planning of their high school program.

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