American Chemical Society Task Force handpicks ARHS teacher Sharon Palmer

Chemistry teacher Sharon Palmer, in a photograph on the Division of Chemical Education web site.Photo:

Chemistry teacher Sharon Palmer was recently selected for a prestigious honor; the American Chemical Society 2015-2017 Task Force asked her to join its ranks.

The group dedicates itself to providing a handbook for middle and high school chemistry teachers that aims to be “a useful resource.”

The ACS Task Force is formed of only 15 members from all over the country.

The handbook addresses pedagogy, technology, and safety in chemistry classrooms.

According to the Amherst PGO blog, “Dr. Palmer’s long-term involvement and understanding of the needs of middle and high school chemistry students and their teachers formed the basis for her appointment.”

Because of the distance between the nationally-selected members, the main means of communication between the group is teleconferences.

However, the task force plans to meet in person either this summer or during the summer of 2017.

Dr. Palmer hopes that the handbook will be helpful for all chemistry teachers, especially newer ones.

“I want to make sure that teachers have access to training about safety,” said Dr. Palmer. “I think it’s really important that there is information for people who are still learning chemistry and don’t have a lot of experience.”

In addition to learning what resources chemistry teachers already have, Dr. Palmer wants to focus on lab safety and helping special needs students in a chemistry classroom.