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2005 Summer ConfChem: The Application of Technology in High School Chemistry

07/08/05 to 08/17/05
The Organizing Committee is: M. Gwen Sibert (Chair, Organizing Committee) Roanoke Valley Governor's School, Roanoke VA 24015, 540-853-2116 Mark T. Duncan Southport High School, Indianapolis IN Michael St. Pierre South Lafourche High School, Galliano LA John Mauch (Chair, HSCC) Braintree High School, Braintree MA 02184
The ACS Division of Chemical Education's Committee on High School Chemistry (HSCC) and Committee on Computers in Chemical Education (CCCE) are sponsoring this online conference on High School Chemistry. The conference will look at ways technology is being utilized in high school chemistry. Topics include online homework systems, CD-Rom Tutorials, CBL probes, multimedia presentations, etc.

Conference Articles

Abstracts of Papers:

Ms. Karen Tobias
Curriculum Specialist - Technology
Broward Virtual Education
6600 SW Nova Drive
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33317

Dr. David D. Kumar
Florida Atlantic University
College of Education
2912 College Avenue
Davie, Florida 33314


This paper describes teaching online chemistry and discusses advantages and disadvantages in one of Florida Virtual Schools. A sample of activities that enhance the online chemistry learning experience is presented along with some observations about teaching chemistry in the online environment.

Steve Smith
Roanoke Valley Governor's School
2104 Grandin Road, SW
Roanoke, VA 24015


Our first-year students use almost all of the applications in Microsoft Office. From writing lab reports in Word, graphing for math and chemistry labs in Excel, presenting their research project using PowerPoint, documenting their research project on the Web with FrontPage, and managing their emails with Outlook, the students become well-versed in using this versatile package. We will explore the different assignments given to the students and the Microsoft Office applications needed to complete them, as well as look at some other possible uses for the various programs in this software package.

David Licata, Pacifica High School
Garden Grove, CA


This study of pre- and post test scores for 40 students taking first-year and second-year chemistry (Advanced Placement) compares the results for students in two traditional classes with the students in a class using computer technology and small-group instructional assignments. The tests focus on the skills of visualization and proportional reasoning. All teachers followed the district-prescribed pacing using similar labs and individual worksheets (often shared). The traditional teachers primarily used lectures (often highlighted by multimedia displays and demonstrations) followed by guided-practice. The MCWeb group teacher used lecture/demonstration (with and without media) to introduce topics, followed by individual or small-group computer assignments using the Mastering Chemistry program and by small-group instructional activities when appropriate. Although the number of students in the study is small, resulting in only tentative conclusions in some cases, the data point to the conclusion that the Mastering Chemistry group developed and retained better visualization and proportional reasoning skills than did the control students. When the control students, were exposed to the same teaching method, all students attained the same high level of achievement.

Tina Stanford
SRI International,
Menlo Park, CA.


The ChemSense project is an NSF-funded research project whose goal is to help students overcome their difficulties in understanding chemical concepts by providing students access to representational tools that can fill a gap in their ability to experience or imagine the world of molecular entities and reactions. The people on this project from SRI International; Patti Schank, Vera Michalchik, Anders Rosenquist and myself, have been working with high school chemistry teachers to develop new activities, create and refine the computer knowledge building environment with drawing and animation tools that have templates specialized to chemistry. Over a period of two years our teacher partners have developed 43 ChemSense high school classroom activities. In this paper, I will describe how teachers used the animation tool to conduct student activities, share our research and provide resources so that you may download the animation tool and curriculum materials for you and your students' use.