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  • Are your students taking chemistry to the next level? (Draft)
    Do you teach chemistry to A Level, Higher or Leaving Certificate students in the UK or Ireland? If you do, we need your help with a short survey about your students' degere choices. We're seeing a downward trend in applications to study chemistry at university that isn't fully explained by any change in entries to pre-degree qualifications. We'd like ... more...
  • Why do we approve our own training courses? (Draft)
    As a professional body, we encourage all of our members to develop their technical and professional skills by undertaking continuing professional development (CPD). This can take many forms including formal, structured training courses. To help our members decide on valuable and appropriate training for their needs, we started a programme to ... more...
Overwhelmed by the available chemistry resources? Looking for new chemistry teaching ideas? Elementary Articles is the place for chemistry, education, and everything else.

Learn Chemistry websiteElementary Articles is the official blog for the RSC's Learn Chemistry - your home for chemistry education resources and activities.

 

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Latest Posts

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Are you a teacher or technician at a Learn Chemistry Partnership (LCP) school?  If so, we are delighted to announce that during the Autumn Term of 2018 we have a Bursary Scheme running which will support LCP teachers and technicians to attend workshops and courses delivered by our team of regional Education Coordinators. This knowledgeable, locally based team offers advice and support on teaching and enriching the chemistry curriculum as well as face-to-face workshops and professional development courses on topics and areas of local interest.

Bursaries of up to £50/€60 for travel expenses and up to £200/€220 for full day cover costs are available for selected events. Email your Education Coordinator to find out whether any LCP events are eligible in your region!  

If your school is not yet signed up to the Learn Chemistry Partnership, then it’s not too late.  Simply fill in the registration form here. As well as regional workshops, you’ll also get access to a wide range of resources to assist in your teaching, such as Education in Chemistry magazine and a 50% discount on our online professional development courses

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon.


Please note that bursaries will only be available to LCP teachers and technicians until the end of 2018. Bursary claims for are limited to one claim for travel and one claim for cover per person during this period. Local conditions may apply, so please speak to your Education Coordinator for further details.

Bursary costs must be claimed within 28 days of attending the LCP event so to ensure that your claim is quickly processed please get a letter from your Principal confirming the costs of your cover, then attach it to your completed  Member/Non-member Expense form before submitting it to your Education Coordinator.  You can submit a separate expenses form for your return travel (attach receipts and/or details of mileage) or alternatively have all the information on one form and have your school reimburse you for travel costs.
Posted by Emily Howe on Aug 20, 2018 5:55 PM BST
3fa81ce11f7983b1e1a9b54048152436-huge-04In late 2017, we commissioned some research to find out more about what science teachers and technicians across the UK and Ireland thought of the help they get from the Royal Society of Chemistry.  We also wanted to know what they want from us in the future.  If you were one of the 500 who responded, then thank you.  Your insights have helped to tell us what teachers’ and technicians’ main concerns are and what we can do to help.

From the support we already provide, many of you told us that you find Learn Chemistry and Education in Chemistry useful — especially to support practical work.  We’ve been working hard recently to make sure both of these provide information that’s easy to apply in the classroom. 

Lots of you spoke about wanting it to be easier to find resources that are linked to the new specifications, particularly due to the recent curriculum reforms in the UK and Ireland.  We’re now working hard to find ways to address this.

Those of you who had been to our local events found them useful.  However, many people who replied didn’t know about them.   Due to this feedback, we’ve recently changed the look and layout of your regional newsletter.  We hope that this makes it easier for you to find out about and register for local events.

We also found other areas where we can improve.  You told us you want more clarity about the exact purpose and benefits of Learn Chemistry Partnership (LCP), and what you should do once you’ve joined.  We’re busy planning how we can ensure that LCP provides benefits and support that will really help you to inspire your students in chemistry.   

We’re also planning to introduce online features for LCP that will make it easier to find our support.  We want to continue to get your input into these ideas, so in May this year we asked you to help test some of our early plans for these new online features.  We had an enthusiastic response to our request for help, so thank you if you were one of the people who volunteered.  You gave us some great insights about how to make things clear and easy to use. 

It’s still early days for these developments, and we’ll be asking for more of your feedback as we go along.  If you’re interested in helping us test the new service, please get in touch.
Posted by Emily Howe on Jun 22, 2018 4:54 PM BST
9edebfd30b2567ded63e52dec67fd5ca-huge-04We’re making improvements to our schools network, Learn Chemistry Partnership (LCP).  To make sure we create a service that provides support which is truly meaningful, we’re looking for feedback on new ideas for creating an improved web experience for our partner schools.

If you’re a teacher, technician, or work in a school, we’d love to hear from you.  To take part, we’d need to speak to you for about an hour at a time convenient to you between now and the end of May.  There’s no need to travel — you’d just need access to a computer with an internet connection, a speaker and a microphone. 

By taking part, we’ll ask you to try out some of the new online features we’ve got planned, giving you the opportunity to experience and give feedback on exciting new developments for LCP.  This is a great chance to help us shape the service we deliver to you.

As a thank you for your time, you’d receive a £20 Amazon gift voucher. 
If you’d like to take part, please get in touch
Posted by Emily Howe on Apr 23, 2018 12:59 PM BST
343610f373dca1ae64c518894fd103e5-huge-reOver the past few months, we’ve been checking the health and safety guidance in some of our most popular demonstrations and class practicals is up to date, and we’ve now published those changes.

The procedures in our Classic chemistry experiments, Classic chemistry demonstrations and Chemistry for non-specialists books are known and loved by many chemistry teachers, and many have been freely available on Learn Chemistry since 2012. We’ve collaborated with SSERC (Scottish schools education research centre) to check these procedures and guidance notes, and have made improvements to match the latest best practice and policy. We’ve now published updated versions of these practicals on Learn Chemistry. Use them with the confidence that you are accessing the most up-to-date versions of these classic procedures.

We’ve removed some supporting videos, and three experiments outright, because it wasn’t possible to update them sufficiently in their current form. For example, the Screaming jelly baby has taken a temporary holiday from Learn Chemistry. However, we will publish alternatives or updates to these in the coming months.

Our health and safety work is on-going. We recently updated our popular Nuffield practical chemistry collection, and we’ll be checking more of our practicals over the coming months. This year, we’re reviewing and editing 200 practical resources. If you want to know more about our work to maintain over 2,000 teaching and learning resources, email learn-chemistry@rsc.org.

Explore our refreshed Classic chemistry experiments, Classic chemistry demonstrations and Chemistry for non-specialists collections.
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Mar 22, 2018 4:23 PM GMT
Over the last few months we’ve been doing some development work on Learn Chemistry and some of our other educational sites. This has ranged from small fixes to new features like the more prominent download box for editable resources.
 
The latest changes include a refresh of the site’s look and feel, as well as some changes around how to use the site. The visual refresh isn’t solely cosmetic, although part of the aim is to make the site feel less dated. Based on feedback and user testing, it includes some simplification and de-cluttering that make the site easier to use.
 
New home page layout
 
The search bar is now more prominent. It’s the main way the site is used, and we want to make sure it’s easy to find.

We’ve removed a number of items on the page that weren’t used much and/or confused users: The “Teachers, Students, Higher Education, News” panels, the social sharing buttons (Twitter, Google Plus etc), and the resource counter.

We’ve removed the Browse Resources control. Testing and feedback suggested that most users thought this was a search filter, and it wasn’t used much. Removing it focuses the page on the search box and highlighted resources.

We’ve simplified the design visually. Cleaner lines, more spacing, and less on the page make the page quicker to navigate, and the highlighted resources more prominent.
 
New site navigation
 
Learn Chemistry used to have multiple navigation menus. These were confusing and took up valuable space, making the site hard to navigate on mobile devices. We’ve replaced these with a new navigation menu at the top of the site, which is designed to be more mobile friendly.
 
The new top navigation bar retains most of the elements of the existing one, and replaces the links to other RSC sites. This also removes the other search box which searched across all RSC sites, and caused some confusion.
 
Simpler look and feel across the site
 
The new visual design on the home page removes the coloured background and makes the menus smaller. This has also been rolled out across the rest of the site, and most of the sub-sites.
 
We hope you like the new design, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Dec 12, 2017 2:53 PM GMT

University of Liverpool Victoria BuildingDiscover the support you need on our stand at the ASE 2018 annual conference in Liverpool.

Specialist or non-specialist, from career development to classroom resources, we’ve got something for you. Visit the exhibition (it's free!) and find all of the support we offer, including hands-on activities.

Discover Education in Chemistry’s new series of science articles with classroom-ready teaching resources: engaging activities for your students in new, cutting-edge contexts.

Try out a magical classroom resource from one of our professional development courses. Designed to help you reach the next level wherever you are in your teaching career, our courses give teachers an in-depth understanding of key concepts in chemistry. Find out how to help your students understand core ideas, tackle tricky topics and avoid misconceptions.

Uncover what’s new with Learn Chemistry. It’s now easier to search and find what you're looking for. Take a look at our new resources, download them as Word documents and edit them to suit your classroom.

We look forward to meeting you in Liverpool!

Planning on visiting our stand? Sign up to the Facebook event.

Stay up to date with Education in Chemistry's live coverage of the ASE annual conference.

Image © ilbusca / E / Getty Images

Posted by David Sait on Nov 10, 2017 8:01 AM GMT
We’ve made it easier for you to find and use editable resources on Learn Chemistry.

You told us that you need resources you can modify. That’s why we’ve recently been increasing our provision of these on Learn Chemistry. For example, we recently made our hugely popular Starters for Ten series available as editable Word documents. View all the resources we provide in editable Word format.

Now, we’ve made it easier to search our editable resources on Learn Chemistry. Just select “editable handout” from the resource type menu:

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Once you’ve selected a resource, click the button to download all the editable Word files available for that resource:

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Licence information is provided in the Additional Information section – look here to see how you can share any changes you make with others:

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Edit these resources to differentiate for students working at different levels, adapt to cover exactly the material you need, and modify based on the specific requirements of your exam board.

We encourage you to download and modify our editable resources. Please let us know how you get on – you can comment below or email us at learn-chemistry@rsc.org.
 
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Sep 4, 2017 1:55 PM BST
We’ll be shutting down the Learn Chemistry Wiki on 1st September. The Learn Chemistry Wiki is a community-edited hub, originally launched with the aim of sharing and editing chemistry teaching resources.

We’ve recently been reviewing and modifying the resources on the Learn Chemistry Wiki, to make sure that everything is useful to chemistry teachers, and easy to find.

We’ve found that not many users register and edit the wiki, so it’s not serving its purpose as a community-edited hub. Additionally, you can’t easily search the content in the wiki from within Learn Chemistry. Finally, it’s difficult for us to properly maintain user-edited content, so you can’t be sure of its quality.

Therefore, we will make the Learn Chemistry Wiki unavailable from 1st September. After this date, visit Learn Chemistry for all our resources. Until then, you can still access and save any wiki page.

You will still be able to access most of the support that the wiki provides in the following places:
  • Visit Learn Chemistry’s Experimentation Hub for experiments. Here you’ll find many of the experiments from the wiki, updated and with improved health and safety information.
  • Visit Learn Chemistry’s SpectraSchool for spectroscopy information. We are currently planning improvements to SpectraSchool, which you will see in the coming months.
  • Visit ChemSpider for detailed information on chemicals. ChemSpider also includes the structure drawing tool.
  • Get safety information from CLEAPSS (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or SSERC (in Scotland), advisory services providing health and safety advice and documentation for science in schools. Non-UK schools may wish to consult local authorities.
  • See our Bridging the Knowledge Gap and Practical Skills resources if you’re looking for quiz material.
If you have any questions about this or any of our resources, please email us at learn-chemistry@rsc.org.
 
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Aug 3, 2017 2:11 PM BST
Do you teach chemistry to A Level, Higher or Leaving Certificate students in the UK or Ireland? d0eef31b54e7354b837499cd291f4790-huge-ge

If you do, we need your help with a short survey about your students' degree choices. We're seeing a downward trend in applications to study chemistry at university that isn't fully explained by any change in entries to pre-degree qualifications. We'd like your input to understand why applications for chemistry degrees are in decline.

Tell us what you think.

Image 
© Brian A Jackson / iStock / Getty Images Plus.
 
Posted by Daniele Gibney on Jul 13, 2017 9:26 AM BST
If you’re a primary teacher, take a look at our primary curriculum linking documents on Learn Chemistry. We’ve recently added a version for Wales, so teachers can now quickly find relevant resources for teaching the fundamental topics of chemistry in key stage 2 of the Welsh national curriculum.

This complements our existing documents for England and Scotland. These show our suggestions for resources to support chemistry-related statements from the English National Curriculum (key stage 2) and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (early to second level). In each document, you can click on a curriculum statement to see relevant resources. We hope this will help when planning which of our resources to use, and when.

We know that having resources mapped to the curriculum saves time. Take a trip to Learn Chemistry to see our full collection of curriculum linking documents.

Please do let me know how you get on with these documents by commenting below. It would be great to hear how you're using them, and what we can improve.
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Jul 6, 2017 12:43 PM BST
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