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The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute and Beyond Benign are pleased to announce the establishment of a new initiative to support green chemistry education: The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community.
For more than 20 years, educators from a wide variety of institutions, from K-12 to higher education universities and colleges, have been developing, collaborating and sharing green chemistry education resources organically. This community of practice grows yearly, with many institutions now engaging in some form of green chemistry activity.
However, many challenges continue to hinder the adoption of green chemistry in educational settings. Common challenges include lack of time, lack of resources, a congested curriculum, faculty and department buy-in, misconceptions and an overall lack of support.
To overcome these challenges, Beyond Benign and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute will leverage networks and expertise to move our Community of Practice towards a Community of Transformation. Communities of Transformation have a demonstrated ability to empower systemic change in STEM fields through a multi-pronged approach utilizing both in-person and online support.
The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC) will provide the online hub needed to support the adoption of green chemistry and hasten the transformation of chemistry education. We envision a fully-supported site that houses educational resources and provides an interactive global networking and collaboration platform. On the GCTLC platform, community members will be able to readily find vetted resources for teaching core chemistry concepts with a green chemistry lens, discuss approaches with like-minded colleagues, and hear a diversity of ideas needed to advance chemistry education to a place where students are prepared to take sustainable action.
The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community will be developed and launched over the course of three years. We are pleased to announce today $250,000 in seed funding from the Argosy Foundation, which enables us to launch the project in 2021 while we seek additional funding from grants and corporate sponsorship.
We hope this news brings you something to look forward to after a difficult year for all of us around the world. As we build the GCTLC leadership team and staff the project, we will be sharing updates and soliciting your valued opinions. Born out of collaboration, the GCTLC will ultimately be your platform, and we look forward to your involvement in the years to come.
Stay safe and stay green!
Jennifer MacKellar, Education Program Manager, ACS Green Chemistry Institute
Amy Cannon, Founder, Beyond Benign
On behalf of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and Beyond Benign
A new initiative to support green chemistry education: The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community
December 18, 2020
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute and Beyond Benign are pleased to announce the establishment of a new initiative to support green chemistry education: The Green Chemistry Teaching and […]
The Kabete National Polytechnic is the first university in Keyna to become a Green Chemistry Commitment signer, and it’s our pleasure to welcome this institution to our program!
The Polytechnic joined the Commitment in June 2020 and despite the ever-changing and challenging times in higher education due to the ongoing pandemic, they are off and running with their Commitment to advance and promote Green Chemistry education. At Kabete National Polytechnic, Green Chemistry is treated as an ‘emerging issue’ and therefore is covered in theory under the most diverse chemistry and toxicology classes. Students are also encouraged to undertake Green Chemistry projects during their final year of research.
Check out the Kabete National Polytechnic Who’s Committed Profile to learn more about this institution and its departmental aim!
October 28, 2020
The Kabete National Polytechnic is the first university in Keyna to become a Green Chemistry Commitment signer, and it’s our pleasure to welcome this institution to our program! The Polytechnic […]
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The JV InvenTeams Green Chemistry Activity Guide encourages students to use green chemistry principles to invent bioplastics.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 20, 2020 – Today the Lemelson–MIT Program, in collaboration with Beyond Benign, announced the launch of the Junior Varsity (JV) InvenTeams Green Chemistry Activity Guide. JV InvenTeams activity guides are free sets of curricula that are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and designed to cultivate inventive curiosity and skills in sixth through tenth grade students traditionally lacking access to hands-on enrichment opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The green chemistry guide is the ninth JV InvenTeams activity guide to be created and the first to be curated by both Beyond Benign and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) community.
The launch of the new guide is synchronous with this week’s National Chemistry Week coordinated by the American Chemical Society, reinforcing the value of chemistry in everyday life by teaching students that green chemistry principles can be used to invent products and materials that reduce harmful impacts on humans and the environment. The guide demonstrates these principles and invites students to explore the life cycle of conventional petroleum-based plastics and consider how each stage of the life cycle could be improved upon to make the process more sustainable. Students are also asked to develop sustainable bioplastic prototypes made from benign materials. They use hands-on skills to measure and safely handle wet and dry materials, and formulate and optimize their bioplastics. The guide, available in both educator and student versions, has already been piloted in schools and encouragingly demonstrated to students that working with green chemistry can positively impact daily life and provide for a more sustainable future by addressing some of the biggest challenges plaguing society today.
High school student Ben Barnes, along with his teacher Loren Kristick, are from Energy Institute High School in Houston, Texas, one of the schools that piloted the Green Chemistry activity guide. “It was really interesting how much we were able to learn about this subset of materials that we call bioplastics,” said Barnes. “Throughout the course of this project we were able to learn how bioplastics are made, learn how they’re applied and actually in our seventh meeting, we were able to make a bioplastic prototype…and that honestly gave me a lot of hope about what individual people can do to combat the dire plastic crisis of today.”
Erin Mayer, a teacher at Casey Middle School in Boulder, CO will be working with the guide this year in order to explore green chemistry principles with her students. Mayer is the winner of a contest that Beyond Benign posed to teachers nationwide, asking them to write an essay or record a video explanation of how they hope inventing with green chemistry will impact their students’ learning. Mayer’s submission won her and her students a $425-valued classroom kit that supports the JV InvenTeams Green Chemistry guide. “I am so excited to implement green chemistry into all of our chemistry initiatives this year, including bioplastics, because my student learners will develop as forward thinking innovators and inventors,” says Mayer.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Beyond Benign on this new JV InvenTeams activity guide, especially because this guide focuses on such an important topic: sustainability,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “The earlier we can impart the importance of developing skills in areas like green chemistry to invent in a more sustainable way, the better prepared students will be to tackle challenges today and into the future.”
“We are thrilled to launch this guide in partnership with the Lemelson-MIT Program,” said John Warner Co-Founder of Beyond Benign and a Founder of the field of Green Chemistry. “Chemistry is at the core of solving local and global challenges through the design of better molecular building blocks. This guide places students in the role of the inventor, allowing them to problem solve through chemistry.”
The Lemelson-MIT Program and Beyond Benign are supported by The Lemelson Foundation.
ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM
The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. For more information, visit lemelson.mit.edu.
ABOUT BEYOND BENIGN
Beyond Benign, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, envisions a world where the chemical building blocks of products used every day are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Beyond Benign is fostering a green chemistry education community empowered to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Beyond Benign’s continuum of sustainable science educational programs including, teacher and faculty training, and curriculum development from K-20 are helping to build the next generation of scientists and citizens with the skills and knowledge to create and choose products that are safe for human health and the environment. For more information, visit https://www.beyondbenign.org/.
ABOUT THE LEMELSON FOUNDATION
The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention based enterprises to promote economic growth in the US and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. Established by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in 1992, to date the Foundation has provided or committed more than $175 million in grants and PRIs in support of its mission. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.
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The Lemelson-MIT Program and Beyond Benign Introduce New JV InvenTeams Activity Guide on Green Chemistry
October 20, 2020
For More Information: Stephanie Martinovich Lemelson-MIT Program (617) 258-0632 Smartino@mit.edu The JV InvenTeams Green Chemistry Activity Guide encourages students to use green chemistry principles to invent bioplastics. CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October […]
As part of National Chemistry Week, our very own Janie Butler presenting how to make bioplastics in your very own kitchen. With our increase in reliance on plastics, why not start thinking about how we can start making them differently? Through her presentation you will learn how to make your own window cling. In collaboration with Museum of Science, this presentation was both engaging and entertaining. Watch here.
In collaboration with the Museum of Science, two undergrads at Gordon College, Madi Morin and Alexa Weindolf, shared how to presented how to make two ‘green’ glues at home. They tackled hard questions like, how can we be inspired by nature to create “greener” products? Watch along side of them to learn how we can use chemistry to make an environmentally friendly glue at home. With the theme of this year’s National Chemistry Week being sticky, it was the perfect fit! Check out the video of them presenting here.
Caroline Mooney, a senior undergraduate student perusing a Communications major and Marketing minor from Fordham University explored the connection between media and Green Chemistry for her Media and the Environment course by volunteering her time as part of a class assignment to create and share the article below with our community.
As our world has shifted online, teaching techniques have also adapted to these changes through the use of mobile, web, and other e-learning tools to ensure every student gains a rich education. While this transition may have proven to be a challenge for some, educators seized the opportunity to invite TikTok creations into the classroom, helping non-scientists learn about the benefits of Green Chemistry for their own health. Be a part of the change – Follow TheChemistryCollective on TikTok.
Through the use of TikTok services, students from non-science backgrounds can engage with Green Chemistry education by participating in fun and easy-to-do experiments at home! Learn more about the green side of TikTok by reading The Journal of Chemical Education paper by Dr. Katie Lamb & Glenn A. Hurts from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York on how TikTok can be used to facilitate scientific public engagement and for contextualization of chemistry at home here.
We thank Caroline for her time and energy in exploring and amplifying this great resource for learning Green Chemistry!
October 16, 2020
Caroline Mooney, a senior undergraduate student perusing a Communications major and Marketing minor from Fordham University explored the connection between media and Green Chemistry for her Media and the Environment […]
Categories: Green Chemistry Education
Our recent partnership with Dow, allowed us to engage their academic partners around the Green Chemistry Commitment program and resulted in the first historically black university, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) signing onto the Commitment.
PVAMU joined the Commitment in June 2020 and despite the ever-changing and challenging times in higher education due to the ongoing pandemic, they are off and running with their Commitment to Green Chemistry education. The PVAMU Chemistry Department is already working to break the silos by collaborating with their Chemical Engineering Department to spread Green Chemistry education outside of their department and into relevant courses.
October 7, 2020
Our recent partnership with Dow, allowed us to engage their academic partners around the Green Chemistry Commitment program and resulted in the first historically black university, Prairie View A&M University […]
Dow partnership brings new signers and support to the Green Chemistry Commitment
October 6, 2020 Wilmington, MA – Green chemistry education nonprofit Beyond Benign partnered with Dow (NYSE: DOW) at the start of 2020 to encourage academic institutions to engage in the adoption of green chemistry in higher education. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that generate the least amount of harm and waste possible while maintaining excellent quality. Since 2007, Beyond Benign has integrated green chemistry into K-12 and higher education institutions through teacher training, lesson plans, community networks, webinars, and events.
“The team at Beyond Benign is very excited to partner with Dow,” says Amy Cannon, Beyond Benign’s Director and Co-Founder. “Chemistry and materials science companies design the building blocks of all the products around us. By supporting Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment, Dow is demonstrating the importance of green chemistry skills and knowledge for their incoming workforce to enable the design of safer products and materials.”
Dow’s contribution through volunteer time and corporate sustainability expertise to engage academic stakeholders in companywide goals, as well as financial support, is allowing Beyond Benign to increase partnerships with university programs through its Green Chemistry Commitment program. The Green Chemistry Commitment program fosters a community of practice among higher education institutions to share resources and best practices in implementing green chemistry in their courses and programs. Currently Beyond Benign’s GCC program, includes signers from 70 institutions reaching over 1,300 faculty members who are united around a shared vision to:
- Expand the community of green chemists at their institutions,
- Grow departmental resources,
- Improve connections to industry and job opportunities in green chemistry, and
- Collaborate to affect systemic and lasting change in chemistry education.
“Dow is committed to advance the well-being of humanity through science, innovation and collaboration. It is vital that our university partners are aligned and engaged with Dow, across all our value chains, to help solve our world’s sustainability challenges. Our partnership with Beyond Benign aligns with our ‘Safe Materials for a Sustainable Planet’ goal by ensuring our incoming workforce is prepared to design sustainable materials for the marketplace,” says Eunice Heath, Corporate Director of Sustainability for Dow.
Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment program is dedicated to integrating green chemistry and toxicology concepts into chemistry programs with the goal of providing students with the skills to design chemical products/processes that have reduced human and environmental hazards. Seven of Dow’s academic partners are signed on to Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment: University of Minnesota, University of California Berkeley, University of California Santa Barbara, Michigan State University, Prairie View A&M University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and Wayne State University. To learn more about this program and which universities have signed the pledge, please visit Beyond Benign’s website: https://www.beyondbenign.org/he-green-chemistry-commitment/
About Beyond Benign:
Beyond Benign, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, envisions a world where the chemical building blocks of products used every day are healthy and safe for humans and the environment. Beyond Benign is fostering a green chemistry education community empowered to transform chemistry education for a sustainable future. Beyond Benign’s continuum of sustainable science educational programs including, teacher and faculty training and curriculum development from K-20 are helping to build the next generation of scientists and citizens with the skills and knowledge to create and choose products that are safe for human health and the environment. Over the past 13 years, Beyond Benign has an extensive history of service, having trained over 6,000 K-12 teachers in sustainable science and green chemistry, designed over 200 open-access lessons, reached over 25,000 youth and community members through outreach, & partnered with 70 universities to transform chemistry education. Together we can catalyze the development of green technological innovations that result in safer products and processes in support of a sustainable, healthy society.
Find us on Twitter @beyondbenign, on Instagram @beyondbenign, and follow us on Facebook @beyondbenign or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/beyond-benign-inc/.
Nicki Wiggins, Director of Development
October 6, 2020
Dow partnership brings new signers and support to the Green Chemistry Commitment October 6, 2020 Wilmington, MA – Green chemistry education nonprofit Beyond Benign partnered with Dow (NYSE: DOW) at […]
Categories: Press Releases
Ambrose University recently signed Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment! “We engaged Ambrose University based on contributions to the green chemistry education field made by Dr. Liza Abraham,” stated Beyond Benign’s Executive Director, Dr. Amy Cannon, “We are excited to have Ambrose University join our Green Chemistry Commitment community of over 70 college and universities to share their work, learn from like-minded colleagues and collaborate to advance sustainability practices in chemistry education.”
Read more about Ambrose University and the announcement about their recent signing here
View the Ambrose University Who’s Committed profile here
September 30, 2020
Ambrose University recently signed Beyond Benign’s Green Chemistry Commitment! “We engaged Ambrose University based on contributions to the green chemistry education field made by Dr. Liza Abraham,” stated Beyond Benign’s Executive […]