Active Chemistry® relies on the proven National Science Foundation developmental process as well as the most up-to-date research in pedagogy and learning theory. The curriculum is written, tested in the classroom, evaluated by a nationally recognized independent evaluation team, rewritten and retested. Expert review panels also guide the process at each stage.
Each Active Chemistry® chapter begins with a scenario and challenge that is interesting to students and motivates them to learn and remember the chemistry content as well as the science and engineering skills presented in the chapter. The Chapter Challenges are the projects that provide students with a purpose for all of the work to follow and the rationale for learning. The challenges include a variety of tasks and opportunities that allows students with different talents and skills to excel. Students also learn the important 21st century skill of working collaboratively in groups as they respond to the Chapter Challenge.
All the six to ten sections in each chapter of Activity Chemistry® routinely involve active, collaborative learning at some level. In some sections, students must design an experiment to explore a concept. At other times, they will collect and interpret data to formulate a new concept, or develop and use models, just like real scientists and engineers. Students are also regularly asked to answer questions about what they think and what they do, as well as to support their statements with concrete data. “Activity Before Concept” provides a strong foundation for active learning as the students always have a common lab experience upon which to base their understanding of a concept.
Kit components are identified, designed, and tested over time to meet the needs of the investigations specific to the Active Chemistry® program. In some cases, kit equipment is specifically manufactured for a lab activity. For example, the IAT Launcher is an item that was uniquely configured by It’s About Time® for the Active Chemistry Ideal Toy chapter. The IAT Technology Lab Extensions provide detailed data logger and probeware setup as well as step-by-step procedural instructions for twenty-one activities in Active Chemistry®. These activities can be used in conjunction with our einstein™ Tablet+ or Fourier data loggers and sensors.
It’s About Time® is committed to providing comprehensive, ongoing professional-development support services for districts or schools implementing Active Chemistry®. Our highly experienced implementation specialists will lead workshops to get you started with teaching Active Chemistry®, follow-up sessions that provide additional content and pedagogical support, as well as online and onsite mentoring. Also, our “Just-in-Time 24/7” CyberPD is always available offering Chapter-by-Chapter Videos of hands-on activities, Essential Chemistry explained for students by Maggie Petit, and an Active Chemistry® Online User’s Community, where you can prepare your daily lessons, and then share and compare your successes and challenges.