On Tuesday, Feb. 9, LCU hosted the second annual ChemTeach Academy, which welcomed 24 high school chemistry teachers to campus to learn experiments, techniques, and teaching methods to help them meet standard state objectives (TEKS) in their classrooms. LCU chemistry faculty built the ChemTeach curriculum and hosted the workshop.
"[This] was the best workshop I have attended in a very long time. Every member of the LCU chemistry team was friendly, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable," said Amber (Little '07) Allen, a chemistry teacher at Frenship High School in Wolfforth, Texas. Allen felt that the workshop kept her engaged all day, since the presentations incorporated the various teaching styles of the LCU faculty and the pacing was active and productive.
ChemTeach Academy offered through the Education Service Center Region 17 (ESC17) to provide local teachers with continuing education credits that will benefit them in their academic subject. Michelle Sedberry, the ESC17 Science Coordinator, worked closely with LCU to plan and promote the event to Texas science teachers. Participants came from a variety of Texas school districts, including Lubbock, Plainview, Frenship, Levelland, Waxahachie, and more.
Colton Daugherty (’15), a high school chemistry and biology teacher in Waxahachie, Texas, traveled to Lubbock specifically for the Academy. “There was a lot of this information that I had forgotten since I was a freshman in college. I really enjoyed seeing all the demos and labs that I can do with my students in the classroom,” said Daugherty.
Before she began her career as a chemistry professor at LCU, Jessica Rogers was a high school chemistry teacher and was familiar with the need for help and resources, especially for new chemistry teachers. “Chemistry is not a field you can just teach out of a textbook; instead, it is a hands-on, lab-based subject,” Rogers explained.
ChemTeach focuses on new ideas for labs, demonstrations, and hands-on manipulatives that actively incorporate TEKS. Specifically, the curriculum included demos and labs that are low-risk, environmentally friendly, and feasible to hold within high school chemistry classrooms without involving hazardous chemicals.
"What I most appreciated about the workshop was that every activity was student centered and adaptable to various grade and academic levels," Allen explained. "I went back to my campus and immediately implemented the format they shared to help students design their own labs. I would highly recommend this workshop to my colleagues and look forward to future LCU workshops."
ChemTeach has been a success with local teachers, currently allowing 24 participants to annually engage in hands-on learning. Each year the workshop has filled up well before the event and has had a waiting list. As the demand for ChemTeach Academy increases, LCU faculty continues to seek ways to benefit regional science teachers.
“LCU benefits in that we let these teachers know of a great chemistry department, and we let them know about scholarships we offer for chemistry students,” said Rogers. “It is exciting for LCU to have this opportunity to showcase the strides we have made in providing quality education and teaching methods in the field of science.”