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Frequently Asked Questions

QIs it OK to photocopy lessons, activity sheets, and other material from

AYes and we hope you do. Teachers are welcomed and encouraged to photocopy whatever they need from the site for classroom use with students. Information about this is on the copyright and credits page. Please include: “Copied with permission from”

QIf I conduct teacher professional development workshops, can I photocopy material for participating teachers?

AAbsolutely. Please do. Please simply include: “Copied with permission from”

QWhat about the animations and videos? Can I include these in professional development presentations?

ATotally. However, they cannot be used for commercial purposes.

QWho are the authors of the lessons and other written material?

AThe lessons and other material were developed and written by Jim Kessler, Patti Galvan, and Adam M. Boyd from the office of K–8 Science at the American Chemical Society.

QDo I need to do all of the activities from a chapter to get anything out of it?

AWe don't think so. In many cases, you can look through a chapter and pick activities that fit well with topics you are covering in class. Or you could also pick a series of related activities to effecitvely explore a concept.

QWhat is a SWF and how can I use it?

AA SWF (ShockWave Flash) is a small multimedia file created using a program called Adobe Flash. SWF files are often used in websites to display animations or other multimedia, as they are on Middle School Chemistry. You'll notice that certain animations that are interactive are offered for download as SWF files. Because we want all teachers to be able to share the animations from Middle School Chemistry with their students even if they don't have a internet connection in their classroom, we felt it was important to allow these animations to be downloaded, so that they could be played later. The easiest way to play a SWF is to use your web browser. You can do this even if you don't have a live internet connection. After downloading the SWF you want to play, open your preferred web browser. Then, choose 'File' > 'Open' (in Internet Explorer) or 'File' > 'Open File' (in FireFox, Chrome, or Safari). Next, select the SWF you have downloaded. Voila! It plays. You can use this method to share animations from MSC even without a live internet connection in your classroom.

QActually, I still can't get the SWF to play. What gives?

AThough it will work for most people without any trouble, your browser does need to have the Flash Plugin installed in order to play SWF files. To install it, go to and follow the directions there. Next, restart your browser, and repeat the instructions given in the previous FAQ question.

QI don't want to play a SWF using my browser. It's too confusing. What can I do?

AIf you are unable to get the SWF files to play using your browser, or don't prefer that method, you can try downloading a third-party SWF player. There are different versions out there—some for Mac and some for PC. These should also work, but we can't vouch for reliability of the software. Alternatively, if you are super lucky, you might have Adobe Flash itself installed, in which case, all your problems are solved, because it wil play SWF files like a champion.

QWhat kind of goggles do I need?

AStudents and instructors should wear chemical splash goggles when performing the experiments in Middle School Chemistry. These goggles let air in, but protect the eyes and face from irritation or injury when practicing science.

QWhere can I get safety goggles?

AYou can purchase chemical splash safety goggles from the ACS online store. The goggles come in sets of 24 and are available in two sizes: adult and junior.

QHow long should each lesson take?

AWhile it will vary depending on the class and specific lesson, each lesson can be taught in about 45 minutes to an hour.

QHow long should it take me to teach all of the lessons in Middle School Chemistry?

AThe entire Middle School Chemistry unit can be completed in about 8–10 weeks.

QWho should I contact if I have questions about activities or information in the book or website?

APlease feel free to contact us for questions about the website. We'd love to hear from you.

QIs there a comprehensive list of all the materials I need for MSC somewhere on the website?

ABut of course. Please visit the materials page to see a complete listing of everything you'll need to complete the lessons from a particular chapter, or everything you'll need to conduct all of the lessons from MSC.