WASHINGTON — The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, is launching the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT), the first organization of its kind in the U.S. The association is scheduled to begin operations in September 2014, and will be dedicated to improving chemistry education and providing specialized resources to more than a million K-12 chemistry and physical science teachers nationwide.
The AACT website, www.acs.org/aact, is live, and interested teachers may sign up there to receive email updates about the organization.
Chemistry is the only scientific field without a discipline-specific teachers’ association. AACT will provide the resources necessary to motivate and empower K-12 chemistry teachers as they seek to inspire the scientists and scientifically literate citizens of tomorrow.
Membership in the new organization will be open to all who are interested in chemistry education. AACT will have three goals: to serve as a trusted source of curricular and pedagogical resources for K-12 chemistry instruction, to provide opportunities for chemistry teachers to network with each other and the broader ACS community, and to disseminate effective teaching and learning practices at the K-12 levels.
Opportunities to collaborate with other teachers of chemistry and with ACS members can help reduce the isolation of chemistry teachers and promote a culture of partnership where K-12 teachers are seen and recognized as critical participants and stakeholders within the chemistry community.
The establishment of AACT comes at a critical time, as enrollment in high school chemistry classes is on the rise. And yet, only 35 percent of high school chemistry teachers have both a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a certification in chemistry.
To help these teachers be better prepared for the challenges they face in the scientific classroom, AACT will offer a slew of resources developed by ACS. These include an online periodical, lesson plans, webinars and workshops with Continuing Education units, mentoring from experienced teachers, and videos and other multimedia that will help teach chemistry concepts.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.