Chemistry in the STEM Classroom

Target Grade(s): 6-12


In many ways, chemistry more than any other science suffers from being misunderstood in every day society. The word 'chemical' itself elicits negative reactions, and so few understand how chemistry is alive in our everyday actions and the products at our fingertips. In this course, we will explore the many facets by which even the layman can come to appreciate chemistry in the word; be it in the materials that make up your clothes, the technology that created the age of plastics, or the chemicals in your brain that tell you how to feel as you read these words. We will explore a wide array of topics based on 'grocery-store' science, allowing you to get your hands in the chemistry without the need of expensive materials or lab equipment.

Use the engaging context of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to address Chemistry standards in your classroom.

What can I expect from this course?

Participants attend 5 LIVE online sessions that include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Session 1: Paradigm Change in Chemistry
Session 2: Exploring Density and Displacement
Session 3: Materials Science
Session 4: Atomic Art and STEAM
Session 5: Chem-share/Reflective Practice

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

All NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas are integrated into this course. The specific focus of assignments and discussions are tailored by the participants needs.


  • Introduction to and Paradigm Change in Chemistry
  • Science and Society
  • Exploring Density and Displacement
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Remote Sensing and Spectroscopy
  • Atomic Art and STEAM
  • Stoichiometry
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers
  • Isotopes and Tracking Climate Change
  • Industry and Scale

NGSS Scientific Practices (8 of 8 addressed):

Key practices outlined by NGSS are addressed through the use of innovative technologies in the classroom.

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

What other opportunities may I pursue?

Participants may implement course content and develop a portfolio following the guidelines of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with the goal of submitting work for National Board Certification.

Educators may seek opportunities to present at conferences, or among colleagues and education community stakeholders. Course instructors and mentors will support your individual goals to become leaders in integrated STEM education.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective implementation of chemistry topics using inexpensive, readily available materials
  • Successfully implement (or plan to implement) inquiry and technology-based teaching strategies in the classroom
  • Analyze publicly available data to understand how chemistry is done at the scale capable of being the backbone of our society
  • Describe, compare, and implement a variety of pedagogical strategies that will enable students to bridge chemistry, materials science, and engineering
  • Identify a variety of resources to meet NGSS performance expectations in STEM education
  • Conduct investigations with data that contextualize understanding through applied practices