Web watch: Tony Tooth looks at some websites that may be of interest to chemistry teachers
Although created 10 years ago (by a group of students as their entry in the annual ThinkQuest Internet competition), this remains a useful reference site for revision of basic chemical principles at A-level. Despite not being as visually appealing as some sites, owing to a lack of graphics and images, the content is nonetheless clearly laid out and cross-referenced.
The principle appeal from a revision point of view is the way in which key words are highlighted whenever they appear in the text. A left-click on the highlighted word takes the user to an extensive glossary. If the name of an element is highlighted then the click leads to a table of data on the element's chemical and physical properties.
So far I've only scratched the surface of this wide-ranging resource. Of particular interest are: the encyclopaedia, a clickable Periodic Table, sample problems (indexed by type) relevant to A-level topics and 92 photographic images of the elements. The Flash animation adverts are somewhat annoying but it's well worth navigating between them for the chemistry content.
The CHEMystery site is a good example of websites published in the ThinkQuest online library as a result of the annual competition sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation. The latter promotes 'a unique project-based learning experience to students and teachers across the globe'. This link is to the chemistry section of the library where there are 61 links to previous entries in the competition. I'll report on some of them in future issues of Web watch but a quick glance reveals rather variable quality content, which is only to be expected for a competition open to students aged 9-19.
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