High school chemistry text focuses on problem-solving, societal issues

March 22, 2001

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, has released a new edition of Chemistry in the Community, a unique high school chemistry textbook for college-bound students.

Chemistry in the Community, used by approximately 25 percent of American chemistry classrooms, helps educators take students beyond the fundamentals of chemistry and features problem-solving activities to apply what students learn to everyday life.

Recent studies have found that American children are not performing at the level of their international counterparts in science and mathematics and that teachers are often inadequately prepared in these fields.

In his foreword to the report released late last year by the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, former Sen. John Glenn reported "it is evidently clear from the evidence already at hand that we are not doing the job that we should do - or can do - in teaching our children to understand and use ideas from [science and mathematics]."

Chemistry in the Community provides educators an important resource to help students understand and use chemical concepts. The text utilizes community issues - such as water quality, pollution and conservation - to introduce and apply chemistry concepts.

The updated edition includes chapters on water, natural resources, petroleum, air, industry, nuclear power, and food. New sections help students develop their decision-making skills, apply their knowledge of chemistry, and understand how working chemists tackle real-life situations. The course is about 50 percent laboratory-based.

Chemistry in the Community, originally funded with federal grant money through the National Science Foundation, addresses the fundamental concepts and principles found in the National Science Education Standards adopted in 1995. Approximately 500,000 textbooks have been sold since 1988, and Chemistry in the Community has authorized translations in Russian, Japanese and Spanish.
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Information on ordering the fourth edition of Chemistry in the Community, published by W. H. Freeman and Company, is available at www.whfreeman.com/chemcom. A teacher's edition, various activity workbooks, CD-ROMs, a free Internet site emphasizing molecular models, and test materials that complement Chemistry in the Community are also available.

American Chemical Society

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