UChem Teach Program
An Introduction to UChemTeach
The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at UNM has a long history of providing leadership in chemical education for local communities. The office of teaching laboratory has hosted New Mexico Advanced Placement Chemistry Summer Institute since 1996. Many summer programs, freshman orientations, magic shows, and school field trips have also taken place in the Departmental laboratories in the past ten years. This summer, the Department extended the effort to reach out to sixteen science teachers who teach high school chemistry courses in the state of New Mexico to get together in a five-day workshop. This workshop has successfully launched a new partnership program called UChemTeach. The missions of UChemTeach are three fold:
- To provide resources to science teachers in effective teaching materials and up-to-date laboratory equipment
- To bridge high school science curriculum with undergraduate chemistry curriculum and promote student retention in chemistry courses
- To recruit more master chemistry teachers from diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, and academic backgrounds for the state of New Mexico.
Along with the summer workshop, the UChemTeach program will take the following initiatives in the coming year:
- Establishment of a viable, multifunctional network through the UChemTeach website for collaborations and continuous teacher’s professional development;
- Installation of a chemistry mobile lab that provides advanced science instrumentation K-12 institutions do not normally have as well as chemistry laboratory equipment for schools without a science laboratory.
- Recruitment of faculty to host summer teacher-student research experience in the Department.
- Development of a BS and a Master’s program in chemical education to foster master science teachers who can teach chemistry related courses and mentor other science teachers in K-12 institutions and community colleges.
- Creation of lesson plans and laboratory experiments that integrate chemistry with other science disciplines for secondary and undergraduate students.
- Introduction and promotion of effective teaching methods (such as Calibrated Peer Review) based on research in (chemical) education.