The best way to prepare for the Challenge is to review CEF’s study materials and to understand how to apply your knowledge to solve problems. The resources below are suggested to help students understand the study materials and to help teachers prepare their students for the Challenge.
Students are encouraged to explore these resources to:
- Answer questions they have while reading the study materials
- Gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the study materials
- Practice using their knowledge to solve problems
Many of these resources cover material that is more advanced than what is included in the Challenge study materials and questions. These resources are provided to supplement CEF’s study materials and are not comprehensive of what will be tested during Challenge competitions.*
Past Challenge Study Materials
Please note that the content listed in these materials may not be reflected in Challenge questions. All Challenge questions will be derived from the current study materials.
Other Additional Resources
- PhET: interactive science games and simulations. The games list below help explain concepts in CEF’s study materials PhET can be viewed in English, Spanish, and other languages.
- Density and states of matter
- Atoms, molecules, and isotopes
- Balancing chemical equations, collision theory (reaction rates), reactants and products, and reversible reactions
- Conservation of energy and energy changes
- pH scale and acid-base solutions
- Alpha and beta decay
- Khan Academy: overviews of chemistry concepts and practice questions to test learner knowledge. Khan Academy can help answer questions about the topics below and many more. Khan Academy can be viewed in English, Spanish, and other languages.
- Visionlearning: overviews and multiple-choice quizzes about a wide range of chemistry concepts. Explore the chemistry and general science sections to find resources about topics including those below. Visionlearning can be viewed in English and Spanish.
- Chem4Kids: in-depth descriptions of basic chemistry concepts and quizzes to test understanding.
- Matter (states, phase changes, mixtures, and solutions)
- Atoms (electrons, ions, isotopes, bonding, and compounds)
- Periodic table (families and periodic table groups)
- Chemical reactions (rates, thermodynamics, equilibrium, catalysts, and acids & bases)
- Jefferson Lab: resources for teachers and students, including activities, games, and instructional videos.
- Common questions about atoms, elements, and molecules
- Balancing Act (balancing chemical equations)
- Element Hangman
- Element Crossword Puzzles
- Chemtutor: in-depth descriptions of chemistry concepts, including some practice problems with the answers explained.
- How to study chemistry and help with math
- States of matter
- Reactions & equations, oxidation and reduction, and compounds
- The periodic table (organization, periodic trends, properties of different groups)
- Atomic structure
- Hyperphysics: detailed explanations of physics concepts. Read overviews of the ideas below and explore “concept maps” that show the relationship between different ideas. Hyperphysics can be viewed in English and Spanish.
- Heat and Thermodynamics, including:
- Heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation)
- Specific heat
- Mechanics, including:
- Heat and Thermodynamics, including:
- Mathtutor: interactive math practice lessons that provide step-by-step help and feedback. Explore Mathtutor for a refresher on fractions, exponents, decimals, and graphs.
- Grow your understanding of the periodic table of elements by exploring different versions:
- Royal Society of Chemistry
- Dynamic Periodic Table (see trends in properties, isotopes, and more)
- PBS (test your knowledge, see how the elements bond, and more)
- Periodic Table of Technology
- Differently shaped periodic tables: circular, simple spiral, curling spiral
- Science Learning Hub – Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao: guide on the different states of matter
Do you have resources to share? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Educator Resources
Below are some resources that educators around the country have shared with us. These may help you to implement hands-on chemistry activities with your learners.
Essential Elements workshop materials:
- Workshop Handout – Separating Salt & Pepper, 5E Lesson Plan Outline
- 2016 National You Be The Chemist Challenge video
- PhET – website with interactive science and math simulations
Other useful resources:*
- Check out some videos of our You Be The Chemist Activity Guides:
- The American Association of Chemistry Teachers provides professional development webinars and an extensive collection of NGSS-aligned lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
- The American Chemical Society publishes educational resources for every level, including elementary and middle school activity sheets, a page geared towards K-8 students with videos and games, inquiry-based experiments, demo videos, lesson plans, and more! The ACS Middle School Chemistry teaching guide can be viewed in both English and Spanish.
- Check out the chemistry of cleaning from the American Cleaning Institute’s Exploration Clean virtual lab!
- BASF shared with us their Activity Book with engaging experiments, challenging puzzles, and chemistry coloring pages as part of their Kids Lab!
- BioEd Online has lots of resources for science teachers, including lesson plans, activities, teacher guides, presentations, and texts.
- BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP feature tons of great media and interactive games to teach STEM and other content.
- Car & Vehicle Science Experiments lists car-themed experiments that illustrate concepts like force, energy, and motion.
- Chemistry Now is an online video series created by the National Science Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that explore the science behind everyday things.
- Curious George STEM has free lesson plans and aligned media for Pre-K and beyond.
- Educational Innovations is a website that sells science supplies that might not be available locally.
- HomeAdvisor compiled 15 resources with 100+ lessons plans for teaching the applications of math.
- National Geographic Teaching Resources has free activities, lessons, and units for science, geography, current events, reading, and more.
- PBS Zoom has a number of interactive science games, including kitchen chemistry and working with pendulums.
- Science Buddies’ manual for Teacher’s Guide to Science Projects, and a resource for teaching through the Engineering Design process.
- The Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science video series walks through all the best practices in modern education through a fun, animated series.
- SuperSummary provides an “Ultimate Teacher Resource Guide” with helpful links to resources in a number of content areas.
- STEM Ecosystems is a resource for STEM communities and collaborations nationwide.
- STEMJobs has a teacher portal with tips on how to support young people as they pursue STEM careers.
- The Steve Spangler Science website includes videos of hundreds of science activities you can do at home.
- TED-Ed has hundreds of educational videos on all subjects (including a series just for the Periodic Table of Elements!), ways to integrate videos into lessons, and interactive clubs for students.
- This article provides ideas for making science labs accessible to students with disabilities using the Universal Design method.
- The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology provides a detailed breakdown of common misconceptions when learning about water, states of matter, and the water cycle and links to great formative assessment resources.
*Disclaimer: CEF does not endorse any specific company, website, or online resource or product, and CEF is not responsible for any content displayed on a third-party website. This webpage is a compilation of suggested resources for educators and students who are involved in the You Be The Chemist Challenge program. These resources are not comprehensive of what will be included in Challenge questions.