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Matter – Solids, Liquids, and Gases: Introducing a Free Online Resource for Middle School Chemistry

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar took place on May 24, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter was James Kessler, Manager of K-8 Science Education at the American Chemical Society. In this Seminar, Mr. Kessler shared lessons and activities from the first chapter of, a web-based resource that helps teachers engage middle school students with chemistry concepts.

The PowerPoint, related resources from the NSTA Learning Center, and web links from the presentation are now contained in the above resource collection. Clicking on the collection link will place it in your Learning Center, My Library, neatly organized under the My Resource Collections tab.

This was the first presentation in a series of six web seminars covering each of the six chapters in During the program, Mr. Kessler introduced participants to the website and explained the format of the activity-based lessons. He then delved into the big idea for Chapter 1: Why are different substances solid, liquid, or gas at room temperature? Participants learned strategies for implementing the lessons by watching several videos and animations featuring demonstrations of each concept. Mr. Kessler also discussed the connection between the lessons and the National Framework for Science Education.

Fifty-eight (58) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. In addition, three participants joined the program from locations outside the United States: Germany, Iran, and Qatar.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “Lots of hands on ideas for the students. I loved the animations!”
  • “I look forward to using these resources with my students. They are hands-on, engaging and written in the 5E model - perfect!!”
  • “There are amazing resources available on this website that will certainly be helpful in my classroom. My students are going to love these.”
  • “Excellent demos, easily attained materials, high quality videos for students as well as teacher background, content and concepts at middle school level.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!

See when other American Chemical Society (ACS) Web Seminars are scheduled

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Underwritten by American Chemical Society