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ACS: Other Projects, With Less Scientist Involvement

The American Chemical Society has many precollege education programs that do not necessarily enlist the efforts of volunteer scientists. Three that focus on curriculum development and associated teacher-training are the following:

FACETS (Foundations and Challenges to Encourage Technology-based Science). The 24 interdisciplinary modules of FACETS allow middle-school students to engage in exploring the science that is of immediate interest and relevance to them. Each module is designed for about three weeks of instruction, during which students employ a set of 10 problem-solving strategies to explore an issue, investigate a problem, or design and test a product. The ACS provides teacher training for the program. The materials are published by Kendall-Hunt.

As FACETS students work on the modules, scientists are available to them as resources. Students can contact scientists in their community and in local institutions of higher learning for information, guidance on projects, and possible visits to classrooms. Classroom visits give participating scientists valuable insights into the instructional approach represented by FACETS and give the students and teachers valuable resources.

For more information on the program, contact

Ann Benbow at the ACS
Phone: 202-872-6179
e-mail: a_benbow@acs.org.

SciTeKS (Science Technology: Knowledge and Skills). SciTeKS is a "tech prep" program (i.e. a program to prepare students in grades 11 and 12 either to enroll in a community college technician program or to seek immediate employment in industry as a technician). It is current under development by the ACS's Education Division, with funding from the National Science Foundation. There are currently eight SciTeKS modules (the total program will have 12), designed to allow students to investigate industry-based problems that science technicians face in a typical work day, primarily in the chemical, biological, and geoscience industries.

Each module consists of a print piece for both students and teachers, an introductory video, and a multimedia CD-ROM. The video takes students on a tour of the particular industry featured in the module and guides them through the whole industrial process: input --> processing --> output.

The concepts, processes, and skills upon which each of the modules is based are taken from National Science Education Standards , The Voluntary Standards for Chemical Process Technicians, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and Skill Standards for the Bioscience Industry. Two of the modules will be ready for pilot testing in the spring of 1997; the remainder are to be piloted during the academic year 1997-1998.

For more information about the SciTeKS program, contact

Ann Benbow
Phone: 202-872-6179
e-mail: a_benbow@acs.org

Chemistry in the Community (ChemCom). ChemCom is a year-long course that introduces high-school students to chemistry. Each of ChemCom's eight units centers on a chemistry-related societal issue that serves as the basis for introducing the chemistry needed to understand and analyze the problem. ChemCom is considered a laboratory science for the purposes of high-school graduation requirements and college admissions.

The main ChemCom topics are "Supplying Our Water Needs," "Conserving Chemical Resources," "Petroleum: To Build or to Burn?" "Understanding Foods," " Nuclear Chemistry in Our World," " Chemistry, Air, and Climate," "Chemistry and Health," and "The Chemical Industry: Promise and Challenge."

The ChemCom program consists of a textbook, a teacher's guide, a lab manual, a laser disk, and a program for training teachers. Developed by the ACS with NSF funding, ChemCom was written by teams of high school, college, and university teachers with the assistance of chemists from industry and government. Every one of the ChemCom units points to specific opportunities for scientists to come into the classroom and talk about their work.

Each summer, the ACS sponsors five-day teacher training workshops to prepare new ChemCom teachers. These workshops are held at colleges and universities nationwide and conducted by three-person teams of master high-school teachers who themselves were trained in an earlier phase of the ChemCom program. Participants become familiar with the philosophy, goals, rationale, teaching/learning strategies, course content, classroom management models, and specific instructional activities that constitute the ChemCom course.

Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company published the first edition of ChemCom in 1988 and the third edition in the spring of 1997.

For more information about the ChemCom program, contact John Krikau Phone: 202-872-6383 e-mail: j_krikau@acs.org


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