You should consider being a chemis- try teacher. Seriously, you should. You may not realize it, but as a
student member of ACS, you have a skill
set that is coveted across the country and
around the world — a love of chemistry
and the ability to demonstrate it in new
and creative ways. Remember when you
made that periodic table of cupcakes?
Remember when you stayed up until
2:00 a.m. studying protecting groups so
you could ace that organic exam?
You are among the most elite candidates to inspire the next generation of
scientists and scientifically literate citizens. So if you want a challenging career
that makes great use of your skills and
makes a difference in the world every
day, teaching might be for you.
The good news is that if you’re open
to considering the idea, there’s never
been a better time to consider being
a chemistry teacher, thanks in part to
AACT, a new association for chemistry
teachers launched by ACS this fall.
Membership is open to everyone
who has an interest in chemistry education, including undergraduate students.
Here are three big reasons why joining
AACT could benefit you, either now as an
undergraduate student or in the future.
1.Learn from a supportive community of other chemistry teachers.
Until this year, there had never been a
national network specifically by and for
K– 12 teachers of chemistry. With the
launch of AACT, new teachers entering
the field have access to other teachers
with decades of experience with whom
they can trade ideas, exchange strategies,
and find support.
When you become a new teacher
entering the field, it may especially ben-
efit you to find more experienced teach-
ers who can mentor you and support
you. It will also benefit you to be able to
learn from tips of others who have been
new teachers before and have developed
successful strategies to teach the finer
points of covalent bonding to a room full
of Jesse Pinkmans before lunch. What-
ever you encounter, you’ll have support
from a community of thousands who can
help you succeed.
2.Access high-quality and reliable chemistry teaching resources.
Searching the Internet can be time-
consuming and frustrating despite its
great power. To aid new and experienced
teachers alike, the AACT website contains
a vetted collection of teaching resources
developed by teachers across the coun-
try that provides a unified repository for
lesson plans, demos, and labs that are
trustworthy and safe. It also houses a col-
lection of multimedia, including videos,
animations, and simulations.
So if you need a video to help a che-
mophobe appreciate the applicability of
chemistry, or to convince your flatmates
that spending extra time in the lab is
actually evidence of your greatness, the
multimedia provided through AACT may
be one way to do it.
3.Pave the way for other younger teachers of chemistry.
As an inclusive community of educators,
AACT needs the perspective of younger
chemists and new teachers to grow and
thrive. If you’re interested in being a
teacher, joining AACT is an opportunity
to support the community at large and
specifically your peers, to explain your
unique needs and perspectives.
So, think about it, won’t you? Even if
you’re certain that your career path won’t
again intersect with a K– 12 classroom,
you can still support AACT by supporting
your peers for whom it will.
Please visit teachchemistry.org to
learn more, become a charter member,
and get involved.
Adam Boyd is the program
director of AACT.
American Association of
3 Reasons to Get Involved – Now!
BY ADAM BOYD
What is AACT?
To support future teachers of chemistry (like yourself?) and teachers
already in the field, ACS recently
launched the American Association
of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) — the
first and only national association by
and for K– 12 teachers of chemistry.
• Specialized chemistry teaching
• Annual subscriptions to Chemistry
Solutions and ChemMatters.
• Professional development
• Platforms to connect with other
• Special student member dues
• And more!
To learn more about AACT and
how you can become a charter mem-
ber, go to: teachchemistry.org.