Workshop Is a Way for Teachers and Dow Volunteers to Learn From Each Other


Teachers develop new hands-on activities at the Essential Elements workshop in Indiana.

When 21 educators from Zionsville Community Schools met with Dow volunteers for an Essential Elements workshop, they not only learned a great deal, they offered ideas about putting the elements into practice in classrooms.

"They were so enthusiastic, and a number of them said when they were leaving that they were going to begin using the activities on Monday," said Larry Sernyk, who helped organize the event on behalf of the Dow Agrosciences Science Ambassadors. "There was a lot of collaboration between the educators and sharing of great ideas on how to enhance the activities and adapt them for different grade levels."

Essential Elements is one aspect of the You Be The Chemist (YBTC) program developed by the Chemical Educational Foundation. YBTC is a nationwide competition for middle school students across America. Students receive organized preparation, then compete in several rounds of competition, with top performers gathering for a national championship each spring. Essential Elements is part of the YBTC preparation program, and provides teachers with activities, materials and guidance to help them maximize the benefit to students.


Teachers develop new hands-on activities at the Essential Elements workshop in Indiana.
"I really worked on encouraging the middle school educators to get involved with the You Be The Chemist Challenge in 2014-15, explaining to them what was involved, and by the end of the workshop they said they were very interested," Sernyk said.

For more information about YBTC and Essential Elements, go to www.chemed.org/ybtc.