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High School Classroom Activities

Browse chemistry classroom resources from the American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

Periodic Table Activities

Want to learn more about this centerpiece of chemistry? Take your pick from this collection of links about elements and the periodic table! Build an element ball, solve periodic puzzles, and check out some of the most unusual periodic tables you’ve ever seen.

The Chemistry Name Game

As students play the Chemistry Name Game, they will learn why compounds form as they do. They will also learn how to correctly name chemical compounds and write chemical formulas.

Mole Day Activities

Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Find ways to celebrate this chemistry holiday!

Alchemy Activities

A main goal of many alchemists of the past was to turn lead into gold. This collection of links explores the history of alchemy, the connection of alchemy to modern day chemistry, and some fun activities to experience a taste of the alchemist’s life.

Metal Ligand Activity - Connections with Forensics

This activity is integrated into a crime scene investigation, in which dirt is found under each suspect’s shoe. Each dirt sample is then compared to dirt found at the crime scene. Spraying Windex onto the samples produces a color that depends on the metal residing in the dirt. By comparing colors across samples, we might be able to determine the real culprit.

Cleaning Up With Atom Economy

The green chemistry principle of atom economy applies to chemical reactions, and minimizes waste down to the molecular level. This exercise uses molecular models to calculate atom economy for a saponification reaction.

Green Chemistry Test Questions

Green chemistry high school test questions

Graphics and Videos

Periodic Table of Moles

As part of the ChemClub's 10th Anniversary, we asked clubs to create elements of the periodic table featuring a mole.

Endangered Elements Infographic

The Period Table of Endangered Elements presents elements facing supply restrictions in the coming years. The research was conducted by the Chemical Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network.

Periodic Graphics

A monthly collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, chemistry educator and author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest.

Download an Updated Periodic Table from ACS Publications

Is the periodic table hanging in your lab, classroom, or office woefully out of date? Replace that old relic with a free updated periodic table from ACS Publications! 

Big Sharks and Manganese

In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about manganese.

Lesson Plans

Unit Plan: The Periodic Table

This unit plan from the American Association of Chemistry Teachers has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan using AACT resources that is designed to teach the Periodic Table to your students.

Ptable.com Investigations

In this activity, students will use the online periodic table, ptable.com, to investigate a number of chemistry concepts. Students will use this online resource to explore information about the elements, including historical data, physical properties, periodic trends and more.

Exploring Elements

In this project, students will select an element and then use Ptable.com to explore aspects of the element including its periodicity, electron configuration, history, and uses in industry.

Q&A with Michael Dayah

Recently, Chemistry Solutions caught up with Michael Dayah, creator of ptable.com — one of the first online periodic tables. We asked him to share his story about how he created ptable.com as a high school chemistry student, and how he’s updated it since then to support teachers in more recent years.

Chemical Landmark Lesson Plan: Discovery of Oxygen

Discover how chemistry was practiced during Joseph Priestley’s time (1733-1804), developments leading to the discovery of oxygen, the historical context of scientific discoveries made at this time, and related developments in chemistry that took place during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Chemical Landmark Lesson Plan: Development of Baking Powder

Gain insight into the history and chemistry featured in the development of baking powder.

Chemical Landmark Lesson Plan: Man and Materials Through History

Learn about connection between materials science and cultural and technological developments, specifically relating to the development of the world’s first synthetic plastic, Bakelite.

Chemical Landmark Lesson Plan: Discovery of Fullerenes

Learn about the fascinating chemistry of fullerenes and the events that led to their discovery.

Safety & Guidelines

Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety in Secondary Schools

These guidelines were developed to help high school teachers in all science subjects to progressively increase their understanding of best practices to ensure the safety of their students and themselves in the scientific learning experience. It is hoped that these guidelines will help teachers to nurture a culture of science safety early in students’ academic and professional careers. It is also hoped that these guidelines will prepare teachers to handle any incident or emergency situation that might arise in the science classroom or laboratory..

Guidelines and Recommendations for the Teaching of Middle & High School Chemistry 

Learn to navigate the core concepts of chemistry based on recommended standards for middle school and high school students. Chemistry lessons often include hands-on activities in the lab. ACS gives you a variety of tools to ensure your learning spaces, lesson plans, and materials are safe for you and your students. These strategies are written specifically for chemistry teachers and address the challenges of helping students reach their fullest potential in chemistry.

ChemMatters Magazine

ChemMatters is a magazine that helps high school students find connections between chemistry and the world around them.

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