High School Committee, Winter 2011

The High School Committee has been involved in a wide range of activities.  This report will, hopefully, provide you with insights about them as well as offer acknowledgements for the outstanding work our ACS Chemistry colleagues  (and students) have engaged in since our last report.   Also the report will highlight opportunities for involvement and professional growth available to high school educators through ACS the Division of Chemical Education.

Erica Jacobson, High School Editor of the JCE, will be leaving the position after ten years (5 as Assistant Editor and 5 as the Editor) of extraordinary service to the high school chemistry teaching community.  Laura Slocum has served the high school office of the JCE for  5 years will also be leaving her position.  We thank them for their work with our committee, hope that they will continue to remain involved in our activities and wish them well in their future endeavors.  Their farewell columns can be accessed through the following links :  
  http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ed200662n   and http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ed200663y.  It is our hope that the new editor when chosen and announced will join our committee and continue the fine work and collaboration between the JCE and the High School Committee that both Erica and Laura have initiated and maintained. 

The recent announcement of the Division of Chemical Education Travel Award is also open to High school educators who are members of the ACS for at least three years.  They may apply to receive an award to attend the BCCE or Spring National meeting.  This new initiative will provide up to 80% of travel expenses for one meeting with a limit of $1000.  The application deadline is September 15, 2012.  Visit the DivCHED website at  www.divched.org for more information including application submission instructions.  The high school programs at these meetings have increased significantly in recent years.  

The High School committee has recently reviewed the ACS SOCED Committee's draft publication entitled " High School Chemistry Teaching Guidelines."   This will become available soon as the SOCED Committee finalizes their work.  It promises to be an important document to assist and support high school chemistry teachers.

There has been discussion of forming a National Chemistry Teachers Association.  Erica Jacobson and Jeff Hepburn will be attending a meeting of the ACS DivCHED/SOCED Task Force in Washington, DC in early December to continue discussions on the possibility of forming this association.

The High School Chemistry Day will be held on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Spring Meeting in San Diego.   High school educators can attend the entire meeting (March 25-29) at a significantly reduced cost of $100.  Symposia, programs, workshops and social events throughout the meeting are very high school teacher friendly and participants always return to their schools with relevant, cutting edge information for their students as well as bags filled with resources from the extraordinary marketplace of more than 800 vendors.   

The committee extends our congratulations to Roxie Allen of Houston, TX for being named the 2012 recipient of the of the James Bryant Conant Award for Excellence in High School Chemistry Teaching.   She will be receiving the honor at the Spring Meeting in San Diego.  We also congratulate the ACS Regional Award winners and will announce the names of recipients in a future newsletter once the information becomes available.

Jeff and I will soon begin working with Heather Johnson to update the High School Committee Website.  We are seeking input from the committee and any high school educator  to help us create this informative and useful resource.  Please send us comments and suggestions in the coming weeks.  We really need and appreciate your advice. 

The College board has announced that there will be a revision of the AP Chemistry curriculum. The expected implantation date will be 2014.  There has been a great deal of lively discussion around the proposed changes.  The movement appears to be heading to more of a depth vs. breath approach with more opportunities for inquiry based learning.   Jeff Hepburn is assisting in writing a lab manual for the new curriculum.  We recognize the need for increased coordination and communication among pre-college and college educators.    At this summer's BCCE at Penn State University, It is a certainty that the George Hague Memorial AP Chemistry Symposium , hosted by Harvey Gendreau and Chuck Mills will be very well attended.  This symposium provides the best opportunity to hear of the changes and engage in important dialog about them.  Members of the College Board will presenting as well as some of the finest AP Chemistry educators in the world.   The high school program at this conference has grown significantly.  Please plan on attending.  The High School Committee is planning on hosting a meeting of the committee and any interested high school educators in attendance.

Congratulations to our National Chemistry Olympiad Team.  Their efforts netted them two gold and two silver medals at the International Olympiad held in Ankara City, Turkey this past summer.   Dates are being finalized for the administration of the 2012 local and national exams.  Additional information can be found on the Chemistry Olympiad website.  

There are many outstanding chemistry education professional growth opportunities taking place throughout the country.   Ellen Yezierski has put forth an unprecedented Professional Development Opportunity for Ohio Chemistry Teachers entitled Target Inquiry at Miami University (TIMU.)  It is designed to improve the frequency and quality of inquiry instruction in high school chemistry.  Interested Ohio teachers can obtain more information by visiting   http://targetinquirymu.org.

The High School Committee hopes to provide teachers with notices of these opportunities which occur in every state throughout the year via our website in the future. 

We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and new year. 

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