Web watch: Peter Banks looks at some websites that may be of interest to chemistry teachers


There has been much discussion about scientific literacy on the EiC blog recently.1 As a school teacher, one of the difficulties I have involves identifying suitable articles for my pupils to read, then finding the time to annotate each one. So you can imagine my delight when I was introduced to Science in the classroom. This resource presents articles from the journal Science and re-publishes them in an accessible style that is suitable for those who wish to take their study of chemistry beyond school.

The main feature of this site is the Learning Lens. This tool enables students to select from a number of categories to highlight specific sections of each article. Clicking on these colour-coded areas reveals useful details and further explanations from a team of expert contributors. It’s these annotations that really assist in guiding students through a paper and helps them understand what to look for and think about when they read journal articles.

For each paper you can switch between university and high school versions. These bring up an edited article appropriate for the reader. I particularly like that the high school version has questions spaced throughout the text. These help students to think about the science in the article or to manipulate the data and statistics for themselves. The university version is extended, contains no inline questions, but still contains plenty of useful Learning Lens annotations.

At the bottom of every page is a menu bar with tools for each article, including links to related science news, activities and teaching resources, which are easy to adapt for your own use. It’s this feature-rich thoughtfulness that makes this site really stand out from the crowd for teachers.

Also consider Journal articles made easy from Learn Chemistry