Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

Penn State
University Park, PA
July 29 – August 2, 2012
Conference Website

The American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education has sponsored the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) since 1972. This international event is the largest gathering of chemistry educators in the world, bringing together over 1000 teachers committed to inspiring tomorrow’s leaders in the sciences. Middle school science teachers, high school chemistry teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, and professors connect with colleagues at all levels through technical and poster sessions, workshops, plenary lectures and a vendor exhibition.

The BCCE strives to facilitate the exchange of ideas among all those interested in chemical education, to coordinate and implement innovative curriculum reform measures that enhance student achievement, improve student-instructor interaction, and elevate the quality of instruction in science programs.

Wednesday, August 1

Dan DamelinUsing the Molecular Workbench for Inquiry at the Atomic Level:
A Free Tool for Running and Constructing Chemical Simulations

Dan Damelin


The Molecular Workbench (MW), developed by the Concord Consortium with funding from the National Science Foundation, is an extremely flexible system for running and authoring model-based activities and simulations. Dozens of activities and hundreds of models are freely available at, which allow students to explore physical and chemical phenomena. Use the many pre-made models and activities with embedded assessments or create your own. Model authoring is simple enough to allow students to design their own models to explore chemical concepts and understand the roots of various emergent phenomena that result from the collective interactions of atoms and molecules. In this talk we will highlight some of MW’s modeling abilities, discuss ways to collect student data on model usage and understanding, and explore best practices for using models to enhance student understanding.

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