By Brooke Chaplan
Chemistry is an amazing and useful science that has a tremendous impact on everyday life whether you realize it or not. There are many interesting and lucrative careers that have a foundation in chemistry. Chemistry is often a required class for high school students, but sometimes teachers and parents struggle to get their students interested in this subject. If a student is not majoring in science, they may think a chemistry course will be difficult or boring. The good news is, with the right approach, it is easy to hold a student’s interest in chemistry.
Integration into Everyday Life
Chemistry is a science that impacts just about everything in modern life. All it takes is a quick look around the home. Items that we use every day wouldn’t be possible without chemistry. The first and best way to get a student interested in a topic is to allow them to see it and feel it. When a person of any age has a personal connection with a topic, they are far more likely to be interested in learning more about it. Industrial chemicals, for example, are used in a broad range of consumer products like inks, electronics, and cosmetics that teens interact with on a daily basis. Encourage students to find practical items that pertain to the chemistry topic they are learning about. You might look at an industrial supplier like Seidler Chemical to learn more about the purposes for tetrahydrofuran.
Complex science topics are often taught through textbook reading. This reading is often dry and difficult to understand and follow, even when presented simply. It’s no wonder that students get bored trying to absorb science information through text. It is much better to use a visual approach to science by maximizing pictures, videos, and interactive learning, and minimizing textbook reading. See if you can supplement their education with posters, infographics, web animations, and illustrated books, or check out videos of old alchemy experiments to pique their interest.
Along with visual presentation come active demonstrations of the topic prior to discussion. Demonstrations are a great way for a teacher or parent to show off a key subject to students as an exciting introduction. These demonstrations are usually quick, simple, and flashy like combining liquids to make a new substance. Anything that fizzles, bubbles, changes color, or has some other dramatic effect is great for a demonstration. Chemistry is rich with such visual options.
Experiments and hands-on activities are where science really excels. If possible, every topic should conclude with some kind of experiment that lets students interact with the science they are exploring. It is usually possible to get age-appropriate kits and activity books that provide students with the necessary supplies and tools.
Chemistry is an important school subject that can be complex and intimidating for adults and teens alike. By bringing the science of chemistry to life, a teacher or parent can help teens learn about the usefulness of chemistry and stay interested in it for the duration of the lesson. Chemistry has many unique and hands-on approaches that can actually make it one of the easiest and funnest topics for students to learn about.