ACS Science Coaches–Activity and Presentation Tips

How Chemists Can Help

  • Help plan and present demonstrations, experiments, and lessons
  • Assist with student laboratory activities
  • Find or evaluate science resources
  • Write grants
  • Provide career information
  • Assist with a special project
  • Tutor students
  • Help students conduct their own research
  • Advise an ACS High School ChemClub
  • Mentor a Science Olympiad Team


Teaching Strategies

Teachers use multiple strategies to manage classroom behavior. Chemists may find the following strategies to be helpful:

  • Learn and use students’ names
  • Require students to raise their hands for permission to speak
  • Use a signal for studetns to quiet quickly
  • Stop and wait for attention from all students before speaking
  • Give “thinking time” after you ask a question; resist filling in the silence
  • Use concrete examples that reflect students’ experiences

Common Chemistry Topics


  • Water
  • Matter and its changes
  • Chemical change
  • Designing and conducting experiments
  • Measuring and recording data

Middle School

  • Density
  • Physical and chemical changes
  • Atoms, molecules, and the periodic table
  • Covalent and ionic bonds
  • Acids and bases

High School Chemistry

  • Acids and bases
  • Bonding
  • Equilibrium
  • Organic / biochemistry
  • Periodicity
  • Reactions
  • Solids, liquids, and gases
  • Solutions
  • Stoichiometry
  • Thermochemistry

Developmental Traits

Elementary School Students

  • Respond well to praise
  • Need concrete experiences
  • Can handle equipment or listen, but not both at the same time
  • Openly show appreciation and enthusiasm

Middle and High School Students

  • Get embarrassed easily
  • Do not want to volunteer to assist in front of peers
  • More likely to participate in small groups than with the whole class
  • Need concrete experiences to help understand abstract concepts
  • Want learning to be relevant to their lives
  • Need praise even though they may not appear to respond to it
  • May not show appreciation even though they feel it