Bring green chemistry to your classroom
Chemicals are an essential part of science curriculum, but can be dangerous to students, staff, and the environment. Your school's chemical inventory likely includes outdated and highly hazardous materials!
Integrating green chemistry into your classroom lab experiments and lessons not only creates safer, engaging lessons, it prepares your students for the workforce and allows them to think creatively through practical problems.
It also lets you teach cross-disciplinary concepts that align with Next Generation Science Standards and Washington's K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Learning Standards. Using alternatives to hazardous chemicals may even help your school save money on chemical purchases and waste disposal.
Which chemicals do you use and which are no longer needed? King County's Rehab the Lab videos and resources can help you create a safer school lab. Ecology staff can also help your school with chemical management.
Look for drop-in replacements for hazardous chemicals in experiments you currently teach, or find safer experiments that have been specifically developed for high school science classes.
Safer Chemistry: Drop-in Replacement Labs
This webinar focuses on labs that use safer materials to cover the same content as traditional labs. Replacement examples include single, double, composition and decomposition reactions, flame test, and more. Watch the recorded webinar or view PDF of slides.
Beyond Benign's Green Chemistry Replacement Laboratory Exercises
Beyond Benign provides a dozen different examples of lab exercises that replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives.
Ask for alternatives in the Green Chemistry Education Network's forum, or see suggestions others have posted.
Many governments, organizations, educators, and private businesses have collaborated to create lab experiments, lessons, and teaching aids that explore green chemistry topics. Beyond Benign worked with chemistry teachers to create a curriculum mapping document to show you how to incorporate green chemistry into your regular chemistry coursework.
Introducing Green Chemistry: The Science of Solutions
This lesson introduces students to Green Chemistry, the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. Students will use a wasteful, inefficient procedure to make glue and be challenged to improve the procedure using the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.
Before starting this lesson, students should have been introduced to the periodic table and properties of matter. The estimated time for this lesson is 50-60 minutes.
Building Chemical Hazard Awareness and Understanding
This module helps students understand the language of chemical hazards. Students will identify types of chemical reactions and distinguish between those that use safer, less hazardous chemicals and those that are more dangerous. The module incorporates other Beyond Benign curriculum and is a great complement to MoDRN's How to read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) lesson.
This lesson challenges students to predict the differences between the various SPF levels and collect and analyze data to confirm or contradict their hypotheses. At the end of this lesson, students will understand health differences between zinc oxide and oxybenzone and recognize the safety issues associated with UV, tanning, and sun exposure. The lesson has customized versions for biology, chemistry, and environmental science classes.
Contact Saskia van Bergen at 360-407-6609.
Polymers for the Planet
Videos on the 12 principles of green chemistry
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