Handbook for High School Chemistry Teachers

Revised and Updated for the Internet By Dr. John H. Bedenbaugh and Dr. Angela O. Bedenbaugh

Originally Produced By The Education Committee Mississippi Section, American Chemical Society 

Internet Version Sponsored By The Education Committee Mississippi Section
American Chemical Society
July 2008


Names, as well as Titles, and Professional Affiliations (at the time) of Members of the Action Group of the Education Committee of the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society

Mr. Otis Lee Anthony
Chemistry Teacher
Gentry High School
Indianola, MS

Dr. William McMahan
Professor of Chemistry
Mississippi State University

Dr. Baxish Balam
Professor of Chemistry
Mississippi Valley State University

Dr. Dean Parks
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Mississippi College

Dr. Angela O. Bedenbaugh
Research Associate Professor of Chemistry
University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Joseph Russell
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Alcorn State University

Dr. John H. Bedenbaugh
Professor of Chemistry
University of Southern Mississippi

Mrs. Rita Trotter
Chemistry Teacher
Clinton High School
Clinton, MS

Dr. R. A. Berry
Professor of Chemistry
Millsaps College

Dr. Howard P. Williams
Professor of Chemistry
University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Milton Bradley
Professor of Chemistry
Delta State University

Dr. Margaret Wodetzki
Professor of Chemistry
Jackson State University

Mrs. Cassandra Harpole
Chemistry Teacher
West Point High School
West Point, MS

Dr. Kwang S. Yun
Associate Professor of Chemistry
University of Mississippi

Dr. Charlie Holcomb
Professor of Physical Sciences
Mississippi University for Women



The Education Committee of the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society wishes to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation which made possible the development and production of this book.

The consultants listed below spent 1-2 days at the workshop sessions at which much of the material in this book was generated.  The Education Committee is grateful to them for the helpful ideas and inspiration they provided.

  • Professor James C. Fanning, Chemistry Department,Clemson University
  • Mr. James Hancock, Supervisor of Teacher Certification, Mississippi State Department of Education
  • Professor J. Dudley Herron, Chemistry Department, Purdue University
  • Mr. Herb Lamb, President, Mississippi Science Teachers Association
  • Professor David Morse, Department of Educational Psychology, Mississippi State University

Contributions of the University of Southern Mississippi to this project, including office space, workshop meeting rooms and assistance with administrative details, are acknowledged with gratitude.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DPE 84-70138.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Education Committee of the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Because this Internet-based publication originally appeared as a printed book, the references to “book”, “chapter”, etc. have been retained.


An intensive effort has been made to minimize any possible hazards associated with the demonstrations and experiments described in this book.  A lengthy chapter on laboratory safety is evidence of our concern for the safety of teachers and students who use material from this book.  However, lists of hazardous chemicals found in that chapter are not all-inclusive.  Furthermore, although warnings of the hazard of using a given chemical appear throughout the book, typically this information does not include all possible hazards associated with handling that chemical.

Obviously it is impossible to foresee each and every problem that could conceivably arise from the use of this book.  No laboratory activity should be performed by a teacher or student unless he/she has a full understanding of the chemical or physical phenomena involved, adequate protective equipment, and a "feeling" of confidence and personal security in doing the activity.  If there appears to be ambiguity, lack of needed information or lack of clarity in the instructions, DON'T DO THE ACTIVITY.  If there seems to be any element of danger or risk associated with doing a demonstration or experiment, DON'T DO THE ACTIVITY.  No laboratory activity is important enough to warrant risking the safety of the teacher or of the students.

The authors, editors, and sponsoring agencies accept no moral or legal responsibility for injuries that may result from demonstrations or laboratory activities based on information in this book.


Teachers are encouraged to download and print all or any part of this Internet-based publication.

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