Objectives for Teaching High School Chemistry

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Also called learning standards, objectives are academic goals that guide instruction. Teachers develop lessons with the purpose of meeting specific objectives. States have their own set of objectives per subject and grade. However, standards also exist at the national level. These set the tone for learning at the state level and can be used to guide home-based instruction. They include national high school science objectives, which can be adapted to apply specifically to chemistry.

1 Use Chemistry to Address Scientific Inquiries

Students must develop questions and use chemistry to determine the answers. This process is achieved by planning and implementing controlled experiments in which students make educated guesses, or hypotheses, about how chemicals will interact. When the experiments are complete, students must analyze and record their findings.

2 Connect Chemistry with Physical Science

Students must understand the structure of atoms and chemical reactions. Students may meet these objectives by creating and labeling models of atoms and writing and balancing chemical equations that show the new substances were created as a result of blending specific elements identified on the Periodic Table of Elements. Achieving this objective also means that students should familiarize themselves with key vocabulary words such as "catalyst," "proton," "neutron" and "electron."

3 Connect Chemistry with Life Science

Students must investigate the relationship between chemical signals and cellular development. They also must study the way that body chemistry keeps humans alive and well. This objective may be met in part by creating models of neurons and analyzing the effects that specific behaviors have on humans' neurological development.

4 Connect Chemistry with Earth Science

Students should identify and describe geochemical reactions, or chemical changes in the Earth. They may meet this objective by writing specific geochemical equations and investigating how geochemical reactions create natural phenomena such as mountain ranges and volcanoes. They also may meet this standard by researching chemical reactions that occur in outer space.

5 Use Technology to Promote Scientific Understanding

Students must consciously integrate technology when conducting experiments. Students may use certain computer technology to simulate certain chemical reactions.

6 Connect Chemistry and Contemporary Concerns

Students should investigate and demonstrate knowledge about the significance of chemistry to contemporary concerns. This study includes man-made and natural disasters. Lessons may meet this requirement by focusing on the chemical components of alternative energy, chemical creation of environmentally friendly products, effects of efforts to clean up the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill, effects of the 2011 Fukushima meltdown and controversy surrounding the chemical components of vaccines.

7 Connect Chemistry with History

Students must demonstrate knowledge of chemistry's effect on history by studying famous chemists. They also may identify and analyze the ways that specific chemical innovations have changed the way society functions and had a global effect on the world.

Kelli Karanovich was internationally published for the first time in "Adbusters" in 2006. She teaches online at the Christa McAuliffe Academy and contributes to the blog Mama's Musings. Karanovich holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and a certificate to teach from Shorter College.