I am a safety conscience science teacher. I am embarrassed about some of the things that I did in my classes early in my career that I did not realize were unsafe. I saw the demonstrations and activities done at professional development venues and assumed that if my mentors were using the activity, it was safe.
This past summer, I took part in an online professional development offered by Beyond Benign. According to the Web site, “Beyond Benign was created by Dr. John Warner, a founder of the field of Green Chemistry, to provide an approach and means for scientists, particularly those involved in green chemistry and sustainable science, to reach out to the public.” I learned a great deal from the training. I was exposed to many resources that I did not know existed. I found lessons that I can easily incorporate into my curriculum that make a connection between the student and the chemistry content. Nothing is more powerful in a chemistry classroom than when a student can identify how the course content affects their everyday life and their future.