I’ve dreamed for years of developing a Baking Unit within my Chemistry course. Finally (year 10!), it seems to fit perfectly with this semester’s topics of Chemical Reactions and Gas Laws. Students currently move through a unit with small, authentic pieces (a lab referencing toxic substances, an example from a dentist’s office) toward a bigger culminating task or project. For the first unit, students are asked to connect all of their new skills and understanding to produce a report for a fictional battery company.

The context of a project helps them see how all this seemingly disparate content can be used in concert, however the prompt isn’t something they feel any drive to complete. Students rarely see themselves in “Chemistry” as a career. I want to shift to tasks and projects that include the application of Chemistry in some other science-related field. Food Science seems enticing and delicious.

My focus will be on the strand of Authenticity to the Discipline, encouraging students to discover and apply all they learn to other scientific careers or disciplines might authentically use Chemistry.

How might we encourage students to engage in the application of Chemistry in an authentic, related field?