The History of Chemistry for the Classroom

Workshop for High School Teachers of Chemistry

The History of Chemistry for the Classroom

The ACS Division of the History of Chemistry is sponsoring a workshop for high school teachers of chemistry on the Saturday before the August, 2016 American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia (August 20). The event is free, but attendance is limited to 20 teachers. Applications are now being accepted. Send email to Gary Patterson (

Location of workshop: Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Why Attend?  

Chemistry is much more than chemicals and formulae. The study of actual chemists is fascinating and history helps to put all of chemistry in perspective.

-Students respond more enthusiastically to chemistry that is part of the real history of humanity.

-When did chemical companies first open for business? When did the chance observation that adventitiously fermented grain yielded an interesting beverage lead to the regular use of beer? Why is fire so important in the history of humanity? Find out answers to these questions and more…

Details: The workshop will consist of lectures, roundtable discussions, great food, and a tour of the Chemical Heritage Foundation museum.

-The introductory lecture will cover the early history of the teaching of chemistry by Gary Patterson, the Historian of the Division.

-The history of inorganic chemistry by Jay Labinger from CalTech.

-The history of organic chemistry by David Lewis, the leading authority on the history of Russian chemistry.

-The history of physical chemistry by Cathy Cobb, the best known historian of physical chemistry and a current high school chemistry teacher.

-Seth Rasmussen and Carmen Giunta, the authors of the national standards for the inclusion of history in the chemistry curriculum will also be assisting.

The Chemical Tree, by William Brock: A copy of the book will be mailed to each participant and each participant will be expected to read the book in advance of the workshop so that teachers can participate fully in the discussions following each lecture.

-Continuing education credit is available for this event.

An application format is given below. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2016. Please fill out the application below and email to: Gary Patterson (

Application for the Chemical History Workshop

Chemical Heritage Foundation

Saturday, August 20, 2016



School Name:

School Address:

Home Mailing Address:

Email address:


Will you also attend the High School Day at the ACS Meeting? ______

-Sunday, August 21, 2016

-The High School Chemistry Teacher Program is held at each National American Chemical Society meeting as part of the Division of Chemical Education program. This is a day of workshops and hands on activities specifically geared towards the high school setting. Registration is separate from this application.