Tony Tooth looks at some websites that may be of interest to chemistry teachers.
The delights of chemistry
This Leeds University site features descriptions of 40 chemistry demonstrations, supported by movies and over 500 photos. In most cases the movie clips are disappointingly short, though there is a longer, better quality clip of The barking dog (NO + CS2). In each case, by following the 'Experiments' links, you will find a detailed explanation of the underlying chemistry together with details of how to set up the demonstration and any relevant safety warnings (although anyone tempted to try anything new will also need to check the CLEAPSS documentation and do their own risk assessment). Many of the reactions will be familiar to most teachers but there are some interesting twists which may increase the entertainment value, such as setting up the reaction between Pb2+ and I- in aqueous solution as 'golden rain'. Other demonstrations include Blue bottle, Cryogenics, Volcano and Phosphorus moon. There is enough variety here to provide a resource that could be used at either GCSE or A-level.
This site 'provides access to the information chemists need to enhance their research, product development, self-development, education, and/or their businesses in chemistry and related disciplines'. Registration is required but is free. So far I've looked at the newsletter (with back issues available as far back as 2004) which is a useful way of getting up-to-date information on topical issues. For example I've already read an article which disputes the idea of seeding the oceans with iron to promote algal blooms and so absorb more atmospheric CO2, as was suggested on TV last year, to combat global warming. Rather than focus solely on syllabus issues, this site can offer teachers access to wider and more detailed discussions and might suggest extension work for gifted and talented students.
Massive AS and A2 resource
This site has been put together by Jonathan Hopton of Deanery CE High School, Wigan. Primarily aimed at the AQA and OCR AS/A2-level chemistry syllabuses, the site contains a wealth of information in the form of pdf worksheets, animations and PowerPoint presentations. The homepage is clearly laid out with links arranged under topic headings and it is up to date - there are already some documents relating to the new 2008 syllabus requirements.
Watch experiments and demonstrations performed by staff in the department of chemistry at Leeds University
ChemWeb provides access to the information chemists need to enhance research, product development, self-development, education, and/or their businesses in chemistry and related disciplines
Knockhardy produces notes and other resources for AS and A2 level chemistry
Contact and Further Information
If you know of any websites that should be reviewed in Education in Chemistry, please send the URL to our Web watch reviewer
Email: Tony Tooth