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