No Need to Doze-Off in THIS Classroom!

How Do We Get, and Keep, Our Students Interested in the Chemistry Classroom?

Image result for engageImage result for interested studentsAt the beginning of a new lesson plan, teachers are introducing a completely new and possibly obscure topic to students. This is the portion of a lesson plan in which it is crucial to ENGAGE students completely:

  • Why should they feel this topic is important?
  • How does this topic relate to their lives?
  • How do we get them interested in learning more?

The beginning of the lesson is genuinely what provides students with the answers to these main questions. Let’s go through some fun and important resources to use during the ENGAGE portion of a lesson plan. If these are used successfully, not one students will be dozing off!

Fun, Fresh, and ENGAGING Resources to Use on a Budget

Introducing the Periodic Table of Elements can be a huge bore to students. The symbols are a mystery, and numbers are confusing, and the structure seems so odd. Instead of simply showing the table, use an interactive model that shows an example of where the element is used in “real life” when clicked on!



 provides access to this interactive periodic table for free! Students can:

  • Show connections and make real-world applications
  • Find elements that they are may be personally interested in
  • Grow a less abstract opinion of the Periodic Table

phET Simulations are a great way to get students curious about a chemistry phenomenon; and kids love getting to use computers in class. These can be accessed through There are so many different concepts to chose from:

  • pH scales
  • Reaction Rates
  • Beers Law
  • and many more!

These will allow for students to play with the newly introduced idea without any pressure.


We must not forget about one of the coolest and most inexpensive resources that all schools have access to: the great outdoors! Whether your school is in the middle of a city, desert, or forest, the outdoors always provide real-world examples of chemistry.

Get students outside to look at salt on the roads to introduce solution properties in the winter! Bring different substances out during the hotter temperatures to introduce melting points of substances! Students will love a break from the typical classroom environment.Image result for meltingImage result for salt on roads

Where can any teacher find an almost infinite number of recorded chemical reactions?! Some of the most exciting experiments are far too hazardous to perform in a high school laboratory. Instead of breaking lab safety codes, show these at the beginning of a lesson! Many students will find explosions, fluorescence, and fire super exciting.

The video below provides several chemical reactions that are saved for professionals to do!

The National Science Foundation, or the NSF, allows for teachers to apply for grantsImage result for chemistry field trips for chemistry supplies and research. While applying for a grant may be difficult, your students will have access to so many amazing things that would have cost more out of pocket! Think:

  • Experiment supplies
  • Field trips
  • Subscriptions
  • And much more!

These 5 resources will allow for any chemistry teacher to flourish in their classroom on a budget! Students will be interested in what they are learning, and why they are learning what is being taught!

Let’s be clear, I can promise there will be very little dozing off in your classroom!


  1. Thanks, Bailey! I appreciate the positive input, and it sounds like you would want to use these in your own classroom. As for the resource I think would have the most impact in the classroom, that’s a tough question! I think the five I listed are very special in their own ways. I believe that being able to apply for grants through NSF would have the most positive effect in the classroom because of its versatility. Like I had said, grant money could be used towards helpful subscriptions for the classroom, experiment materials, and much more. I feel that because funding can be used at any point in the classroom, it could possibly be the most important for provided different sorts of resources.

  2. Kate, I really loved reading your blog. I believe that there is always so much information that I will be able to use in my teaching. I especially liked how in-depth you went with describing the use in the classroom for each resource. My favorite part of the blog was where you mentioned that teachers can apply for grants. That was definitely a great addition to the blog from my point of view. Also, mentioning what the engage of the learning cycle needed to do was a very good touch. Your tweet was also spot on for this specific assignment. Of all these resources listed which one do you thing can have the most positive effect in the classroom? Overall, this was a very well written blog. Great job!

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