Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures 3) Energetics and Dynamics 4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems 5) Chemical Design 6) The Chemistry of Life
7) Chemistry and the Environment8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 6.3 Chemical Processes in Nature
Natural and household materials are used for doing classroom experiments. The colors of different kinds of berries are extracted to make acid-base indicators.
Video program cues: 14:10-25:40

Cells are dynamic

"Cells are dynamic living entities, but the textbooks let us think that they’re static. The protein complement of a cell changes from one minute to the next, responding to environmental influences, responding to communication from other cells, responding to what we have eaten, and to what we are experiencing. Even when we are sitting still, we have billions of changes going on constantly."

Dr. J. Craig Venter
Former President, Celera Genomics

Chemistry Highlights 2001 (2001)' Biochemistry, 'Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 79, No. 50, pp: 45-55.

Compounds from plants demonstration and laboratory

Dr. Leslie Pierce demonstrates the acidity of household solutions using indicators that are extracted from plants.



Kanda, Naoki; Asano, Takayuki; Itoh, Toshiyuki; Onoda, Makota (1995)' Preparing "Chameleon Balls" from Natural Plants: Simple Handmade pH Indicator and Teaching Material for Chemical Equilibrium, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 72, No. 12, pp: 1131 (abstract only).

Correction (1996)' Preparing "Chameleon Balls" from Natural Plants: Simple Handmade pH Indicator and Teaching Material for Chemical Education, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 73, No. 12, pp: 425.

Natural and synthetic processes

"When chemists are designing reactions, they are usually after what is called selectivity. Selectivity is when two chemicals come together, A+B, to give you the one chemical that you want, C. A truly selective reaction does just that: A+B --> C. In order for nature to run something so complicated as our cells, it must run millions of reactions with exquisite selectivity. But nature gets its’ selectivity in a very different manner than chemists and chemists are very good at getting selectivity. Nature has reduced the tree to a very limited arsenal of elements, and the enzymes are fantastic machines with very elaborate designs. Chemists use the whole Periodic Table, and that is the main reason we pollute. One of the major ways to reduce pollution is to move the elemental balance of chemical technology, closer to the elemental balance of life, wherever possible."

Dr. Terry Collins
Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Article from Science, January 2001, by Professor Collins on sustainable chemistry.
Proceed to Unit 6.4 arrow

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