Key Curriculum Press Publishes Living By Chemistry, A New, Tested Approach to Teaching High School Chemistry

Key Curriculum Press, publisher of innovative textbooks, software, and other learning materials for the middle school, high school, and college markets, has teamed with developers from the University of California at Berkeley to publish Living By Chemistry, a hands-on program for teaching standards-based high school chemistry.

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Emeryville, CA (PRWEB) January 2, 2006

Key Curriculum Press, publisher of innovative textbooks, software, and other learning materials for the middle school, high school, and college markets, has teamed with developers from the University of California at Berkeley to publish Living By Chemistry, a hands-on program for teaching standards-based high school chemistry. This yearlong chemistry curriculum, which represents Key’s expansion into science teaching materials, was developed with support from the National Science Foundation and has already been tested in more than 100 classrooms -- and adopted by public school systems in Boston and San Diego with great success.

What makes Living By Chemistry different?

If you walk into a classroom where Living By Chemistry is used, you might see students building molecular models to determine how molecular structure relates to the smell of a substance; you might see students doing a precipitation lab to find out how toxins work in our bodies; you might see students creating the periodic table of elements from scratch using information about the elements. You will find students who are engaged in learning. This is no ordinary chemistry program.

What makes Living By Chemistry effective?

1. The program teaches standards-based chemistry using techniques that are in line with more students’ learning styles, using themes and activities that grab students’ attention and make chemistry ideas accessible to all;

2. The Living By Chemistry program presents teachers with finely honed lesson plans and pre-packaged laboratory kits designed to make it possible for teachers to teach innovative lessons without an inordinate amount of time spent planning lessons or looking for unusual items for demonstrations or labs. With an average amount of preparation, teachers can teach educationally sound, standards-based content that is engaging and motivating for students. Living By Chemistry has garnered rave reviews from teachers—seasoned teachers as well as those new to the subject.

3. Living By Chemistry has been thoroughly tested in dozens of classroom settings. Early test results showed that students using Living By Chemistry learned real chemistry. These students gained a solid grasp of the concepts behind the facts and were ready to move ahead with college-level material. Further testing with thousands of Living By Chemistry students in more than 100 high school classrooms has yielded similar results: an increased understanding of concepts and the ability to apply them to chemistry problems and an increased motivation in the classroom.

Students taking Living By Chemistry study the standard chemistry content organized around five themes: Alchemy, Smells, Weather, Toxins, and Fire. They study the chemistry behind these intriguing topics, which provide a real-world foundation for the chemistry concepts while holding the students’ interest.

All five preliminary editions are available for review and adoption now at http://www.keypress.com/chemistry or by calling 888-881-8885.

In addition, Key Curriculum Press is making password-protected assessment materials, classroom PowerPoint® presentations, and “Answers to Homework Problems” teacher resources available online at http://www.keypress.com/chemistry.

About the Author:

Angelica Stacy is the lead developer of Living By Chemistry. In addition to her research and publications in solid state, physical and inorganic chemistry, she has distinguished herself as an outstanding educator, receiving numerous awards and honors in education and holding the President’s Chair for Teaching at the University of California from 1993 to 1996. Stacy is a vibrant and enthusiastic educator whose interest in developing Living By Chemistry arose out of her desire to help students attain a better understanding of the principles and concepts in chemistry. In 2005, the National Science Foundation named Stacy a Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

Other Program Developers:

Janice A. Coonrod is a University of California-educated scientist, author, and educator with more than 10 years of experience in the field of science education. In addition to co-authoring Living By Chemistry, she has developed science curricula for the Lawrence Hall of Science; taught science enrichment programs to thousands of students covering chemistry topics from combustion to chromatography; and developed and taught a science methods course for teacher trainees at Mills College, Oakland, California.

Jennifer Claesgens is a curriculum developer and graduate student researcher. She has worked on the curriculum design and assessment development for Living By Chemistry, led teacher workshops, and taught high school students using the Living By Chemistry curriculum. In her graduate work at the University of Californiaat Berkeley, she is researching student conceptual understanding of chemistry.

Key Curriculum Press, publisher of innovative mathematics books, software, and now chemistry books, was founded more than 30 years ago with the philosophy that every student should be empowered to succeed. Key products and pedagogy emphasize active, discovery-based learning as the basis for engaging students. Conceptual understanding is developed in conjunction with strong skill-building to ensure that students retain what they’ve learned as they move on to their next course.

The University of California at Berkeley Chemistry Department was rated by U.S. News & World Report and the National Research Council (which evaluates academic institutions every 10 years, and last did its chemistry audit in 1995) as the #1 Chemistry department in the United States.

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