Partnership Profile: American Association of Chemistry Teachers Will Develop Resources for K-12 Classrooms

Invigorating chemistry education is the mission of a new organization created by the American Chemical Society (ACS). This new organization, the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT),  will work with Dow to convene a series of teacher summits and create more than 750 lesson plans, multimedia resources, demonstrations and other high-quality chemistry teaching materials for use in K–12 classrooms.

“A skilled STEM workforce fuels innovation and economic prosperity and creates solutions that improve the quality of life for people across the globe. At Dow, we value teachers’ critical role, both in inspiring chemistry excitement and in helping students to gain the key skills they need to be successful in STEM careers,” said Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris. “As the founding partner of this program, we are proud to collaborate with ACS on this first-of-its-kind community to empower chemistry teachers, inside and outside of the classroom, as they work to inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The first AACT teacher summit will take place this summer in Midland, Michigan. Approximately 30 chemistry teachers from surrounding communities will attend the week-long summit. They will work with Dow volunteers, known as Dow STEM Ambassadors, to identify improvement opportunities in K–12 classroom resources and develop lesson plans, multimedia presentations and other materials that better meet teachers’ needs. As part of this effort, Dow STEM Ambassadors will help teachers incorporate career-based examples into their teaching resources, educating students on future potential career opportunities. Similar summits will follow in cities around the United States. Dow also has committed to funding AACT for the next four years.

“This new partnership comes at a critical time,” said Adam Boyd, AACT Program Director. “Enrollment in high school chemistry classes is on the rise. Yet, only 35 percent of high school chemistry teachers have both a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and are actually certified to teach it.”

Lesson plans and other classroom materials developed at the Dow-AACT teacher summits will be available to AACT members via the association’s website, www.teachchemistry.org.

 “We are thrilled to be working together with Dow to support teachers of chemistry across the country and develop the workforce of tomorrow,” said Madeleine Jacobs, ACS Executive Director and CEO. “We hope that this partnership can serve as a model that will catalyze greater engagement between chemical industries and local communities.”