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The activities of the Chemical Education Division.

The Activities of the Chemical Education Division

In this special issue of Canadian Chemical News/l'Actualite chimique canadienne, it is appropriate to look at the activities, plans, and problems of the Chemical Education Division. The constitution of the Division notes that its purpose is to "promote the extension of the knowledge of matters pertaining to education in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Chemical Technology." Although members of all Constituent Societies of The Chemical Institute of Canada are eligible for membership, the division itself is affiliated with the Canadian Society for Chemistry. Most members are, in fact, members of the CSC, some are members of the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology, and very few are members of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

Its Role

The most apparent role is the organization of the Chemical Education sessions at the annual CSC conference. The Chemical Education Programme being organized for the 1990 Joint CSC/CSChE Conference in Halifax is particularly ambitious and bodes well for the future. It is unfortunate that the CSChE conference is normally held at a time and place different from those of the CSC meetings. As a result, it is difficult to see how CSChE members can participate on a regular basis in these sessions. This problem is being discussed with members of the Constituent Societies.

A major activity of the Subject Division for many years has been the CIC National High School Examination. The paper is written by two to 3,000 students across the country and it consists of about 25 multiple choice questions and two or three essay questions. Selection of regional winners is done by Regional Coordinators and the national winners are chosen, mainly on the basis of the essays, by a National Judging Panel. Prizes are $500 for the national winner, $200 for the regional winners, and smaller prizes for the runners-up. The division executive would appreciate any suggestions for improving the organization or content of the examination.

For the past two years, one issue per year of this magazine has been devoted mainly to matters concerning chemical education. Since the demise of the journal Canadian Chemical Education in 1975, the division has been without any printed forum. The annual chemical education issue of ACCN will hopefully fill this gap. Each year, the issue will focus on a different aspect of chemical education. The 1989 issue dealt with the teaching of general chemistry while this issue explores the teaching of aspects of inorganic chemistry. The 1991 theme will be organic chemistry.

The History of Chemistry

A number of chemists have expressed an interest in the history of chemistry in Canada. To formalize their discussions, a Chemical History Group has been formed as part of the Chemical Education Division. The group will provide a forum for chemists interested in the history of chemistry and they plan to organize sessions at CSC annual conferences. Those interested in participating should contact W.A.E. McBryde, FCIC, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ont. N2L 3G1.

There have been few high school chemistry teachers as CSC members. Chemistry teachers have traditionally looked towards their provincial science teachers' association as the relevant organization for their needs. In addition, the CSC membership fees proved a strong discouragement to joining our organization. As we rely on the high school teachers to encourage students to pursue careers in chemistry, chemical engineering and chemical technology, it is in our own interest to involve teachers in the CSC and to aid them in their work.

Negotiations with The Institute and the Society have made it possible for teachers to become associate members of the Chemical Education Division without qualifying for membership in the CIC. The fee for associate membership can be set much lower than full membership of the CIC. Associate membership will not provide a subscription to the magazine and, before the division can proceed to recruit teachers, we must be clear on what we can offer as benefits of associate membership.

Among the proposals so far are:

1. The involvement of associate members in the development of the CIC National High School Exam.

2. Associate members can participate in planning Subject Division Programme at the CSC annual conference to include sessions on teaching high school chemistry.

3. On behalf of associate members the division can find Institute members to speak to science teachers' meetings or to chemistry classes on newsworthy topics relating to chemistry. 4. The division is recruiting society members to write articles for science teachers' journals and newsletters. Associate members can offer advice and help in developing this programme.

5. The division can arrange for Institute members to pass copies of ACCN to associate members. These will provide reference material for teachers and students and will encourage interest in chemistry.

The Chemical Education Division would welcome new members to the division. As well, it is interested in suggestions from members of all Constituent Societies of the CIC. In particular, any suggestions of interesting projects or activities that could be organized by the division would be welcome. Address your comments to A.G. Sherwood, FCIC, Chairman, Chemical Education Division, Canadian Society for Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6.
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Title Annotation:Canadian Society for Chemistry affiliation
Author:Sherwood, Alden G.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:Mar 1, 1990
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