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Press Release 11-198
To Welcome Students & Teachers Back to School, NSF and NBC Learn Add to the "Chemistry Now" Video Series

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

Chemistry Now with NBC Learn and NSF logos.

Weekly online video series uncovers and explains the science of common physical objects.
Credit and Larger Version

September 20, 2011

Continuing the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NBC Learn, is launching the second installment of "Chemistry Now," a weekly series of online video content that uncovers and explains the science of common physical objects 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, chocolate or 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 capping BP's Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. 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 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 the NBC Learn and nsf.gov websites and the NSTA 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.

In addition, the "Chemistry Now" series profiles 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 chemistry division. "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."

"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."

"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 NSF and NBC Learn, in their partnership to advance the understanding of and interest in science, technology, engineering and math. 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.


Media Contacts
Lisa Van Pay, NSF, (703) 292-8796, lvanpay@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Susan M. Mason, NSF, (703) 292-7748, smason@nsf.gov

Related Websites
View videos only on Science360: http://science360.gov/series/Chemistry+Now/277b153a-f3fb-4277-920a-c8bb1a8b7806

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) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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