Tony Tooth looks at some websites that may be of interest to chemistry teachers.

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To pay or not to pay?


Given the wide availability of free resources on the Internet, should we be drawn to a commercial site such as this? That said, this site offers a vast range of resources and could save a lot of time hunting around in different places. I have registered for a free trial but have only managed to scratch the surface of what's on offer.  

There are resources available at KS3, KS4 and A-level in mathematics and the three core sciences. The KS4 chemistry section boasts 2845 resources, and a school licence giving access to all the resources until 31 August 2010 will cost you £349. Alternatively, individual resources can be bought as required. The resources are grouped under headings such as 'Class Activity', 'Whiteboard Presentation', 'Animation', 'Simulation' etc. Prices range from 50p for a short animation (with commentary) to £5 for a class activity resource running to several pages and including a variety of animations and activities.  

The A-level chemistry section has 3295 resources, including 100 presentations. The Born-Haber cycle resource (£5 school licence), for example, comprises 21 well-presented pages with a clear commentary, excellent animations and a good range of examples including the classic discussion of why magnesium chloride is MgCl2 and not MgCl or MgCl3. Overall, the resources are of excellent quality but the cost issue is a personal choice. See website below.

About: chemistry

I did a brief review of this site a couple of years ago and thought it deserved another mention. The Flash animation adverts are still annoying, but if that's the price we pay for free access to such resources then so be it. Although most of the wide-ranging resources on this site are web pages, I did find a selection of downloadable pdf worksheets on calculations and equation balancing. Answer sheets are also provided, which would not only save you time but could make this a useful section for students' revision. Also worth pointing students towards are the multiple-choice quizzes, which give instant feedback and a correction if the wrong answer is chosen.