To welcome students and teachers back to school, NBC Learn, National Science Foundation add new videos to the ‘Chemistry Now’ series

Available cost-free to students, teachers and chemistry fans of all ages on

(PR NewsChannel) / September 20, 2011 / NEW YORK 

Continuing the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), is launching the second half of “Chemistry Now”— a year-long series of online video content published weekly that uncovers and explains the science of common physical objects in our world and the changes they undergo every day. The series also looks at the lives and work of scientists on the frontiers of 21st century chemistry.

“Chemistry Now” consists of 32 learning packages that aim to break down the chemistry behind things such as cheeseburgers and chocolate, plastics and soap — the subject of September’s first learning package. Featured on the site this week is the ‘Chemistry of Ocean Clean-Up,’ timed to coincide with the one year anniversary of when the BP oil well in the Gulf was capped. This week’s learning package also surveys the Top 10 Big Questions in Chemistry.

New topics will be explored each week through the end of the year, building on the 23 original “Chemistry Now” videos produced and published in this free NBC Learn Special Collection between January and May of this year.

Made especially for students and teachers to explore chemistry in and beyond the classroom, the online videos are matched with lesson plans from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and are available cost-free on WWW.NBCLEARN.COM, NSF.GOV and HTTP://NSTACOMMUNITIES.ORG/BLOG/.

Weekly content includes original video stories that illustrate real-world applications of chemistry; current events and archival news stories related to chemistry; original source documents and images from the Chemical Heritage Foundation; articles from the archives and current publications of Scientific American; and content-coordinated lesson plans for middle and high school students, produced by national curriculum specialists at NSTA.

“We have been using ‘Chemistry Now’ content here at Conrad School of Science since last year. Once you show the students the video, they can connect the video content to real world situations, said Beth Blohm, a sixth through eighth-grade teacher at Conrad School of Science in Wilmington, Delaware. “Not only are the clips engaging to students, but they entertain them as well, which keeps them interested and focused.”

“‘Chemistry Now’ provides a fantastic opportunity for teachers to supplement classroom learning by using video and lesson plans that are supported with rich, accessible pedagogy,“ said Francis Eberle, executive director of NSTA. “We are delighted to contribute to the project, and we know chemistry educators will find the packages useful.”

In addition, the “Chemistry Now” series will profile NSF-sponsored scientists who are hard at work on the next generation of chemistry breakthroughs.

“The International Year of Chemistry is an excellent opportunity to reach out to the public and convey to them the ways in which chemistry is involved in their lives each and every day,” said Matthew Platz, director of NSF’s Division of Chemistry. “We are especially excited about the opportunity that this collaboration gives us to reach out to large numbers of intelligent, energetic young people who might not have imagined that they could be contributing members of this thrilling, dynamic field.”

“NBC Learn is excited to share these new and engaging ‘Chemistry Now’ videos with students and teachers as they head back to their classrooms this fall,” said Soraya Gage, executive producer of NBC Learn. “We hope teachers can use this dynamic content every week to illustrate these scientific concepts in action, adding a new element of fun to teaching.”

“Chemistry Now” builds on a number of other collaborations between NBC Learn and NSF, in their partnership to advance the understanding of and interest in science, technology, engineering and math. As part of the partnership, NBC Learn—the educational arm of NBC News— oversees all production of the learning packages and contributes original video, as well as historic news coverage, documentary materials and current news broadcasts from NBC News.

Previous NSF/NBC Learn partner projects include: “The Science of the Winter Olympics” and “The Science of NFL Football” and “Changing Planet,” a series on climate science.

About NBC Learn
NBC Learn is the educational arm of NBC News dedicated to providing resources for students, teachers, and lifelong learners. The online resources NBC Learn has created for the education community leverages nearly 80 years of historic news coverage, documentary materials, and current news broadcasts. The NBC News Archives on Demand feature gives students and teachers access to thousands of video clips from the NBC News archives, including great historic moments–from the Great Depression to the Space Race to the latest political coverage. NBC Learn also offers primary source materials, lesson plans and classroom planning resources, and additional text and image resources from our content partners.

About the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

About National Science Teachers Association

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), WWW.NSTA.ORG, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 58,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

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