Totally Outstanding Science Teachers

Web Sites: Chemistry

Rosa Hemphill, Oregon Episcopal School
Written for the Oregon Science Teachers Association TOST Newsletter
October, 1996

The World Wide Web is a rich source of both information and valuable resources for science teachers. The bulk of these materials are usually available "free" for the downloading. The number of sites of particular interest to science teachers is expanding at the same (or greater) rate than the internet itself. How to tap it all?? One way is to have webbed teachers pass on information about gems they have netted on the WWW. This short article is such a sharing. Because I teach chemistry, I found most of these sites while looking for "chemically active" sites. However, several of the pages may be of interest if you want to look up the safety of a chemical, need a periodic table pronto, or just want to browse through a chemical art gallery! If you would prefer to go to these sites directly, point your browser to (good until April 1997).

So, for a top-ten (OK, 11!) list of recommended web chemistry sites, please check out the following pages.

----- Mark Winter's EXCELLENT periodic table, housed at the University of Sheffield, provides a wealth of information on every known element--physical, chemical, nuclear, electronic, biological, geological, crystallographic, as well as reduction potentials, isotope abundances, configurations, and so on. He does not NAME the elements after 103, awaiting the results of the flap over element 106. Mark also supports an outstanding VSEPR visual resource for chem teachers:

----- Kurt Irgum's Chemistry Teaching Resources page at Umea University contains extensive links to curricular material, demonstrations, experiments, listservs, the history of chemistry (!--something for everyONE!), visualizations, and a link to his new "Safety and Environment" page.

----- James Aldrich's 3-Star (Magellan) site of Chemistry Teacher Resources is probably among the best resources for high school chemistry demonstrations and experiments at both the regular and AP level on the web, especially through his Chem I link. This page includes information on global warming, on CBL's, and neurochemistry and neurotransmitters. His demos and experiments may vary from year to year.

----- Jack O'Donnell and Patrick Gormley maintain the ChemCom HomePage for teachers using the Chemistry in the Community text book, as well as for those who teach to chemistry connections in the community. It contains links to pages dealing with water/pollution, chemical resources, petroleum/polymers, food chemistry/energy, nuclear chemistry/waste, air/pollution, and health. There are more resources and modified experiments for the earlier chapter topics. Slowly, but surely, the lab experiment sections are being built up. They ask teachers to contribute to the site.

----- Alan Cairns maintains a slew of reference material on many science areas at the University of Washington. This page contains links to chemistry history, material sciences, chemical safety, chemical images, and also contains a link to a Science Reference Desk. This "desk" links to science constants, conversion factors, measurement units, periodic tables, MSDS', Nobel prizes in physics, a Table of Nuclides, and a link page on the "uselessness" of pi.

----- The American Chemical Society maintains the ACS Publications Division page at this site. In addition to links to their books division, various ACS journals with on-line efforts maintain pages with "hot topics" that can be accessed through the ACS page. Several journals have offered their entire journals on-line. Through December, 1996, The new journal, Environmental Science and Technology , with a wealth of up-to-the-minute information for water studies, has all its issues on-line and linked to the ACS Publications page. The ACS page itself is at

----- This page, by Steven Bachrach, Thomas Pierce and Henry Rzepa, contains the "Best of the Web 1995" chemistry internet sites selected by chemist-types last year. Many of the links are to visualization pages and highlight the leading edge of chemistry teaching being done ON the web. The site contains over 60 links! A similar "Best of the Web 1996" is already underway--you vote on-line at this site!

----- Gwen Sibert, a high school chemistry teacher at the Roanoke Valley Governor's School, maintains a set of pages for her chemistry and Science-Society-Technology students. This page contains a link to her lab pages, which describe her requirements for keeping a lab notebook, on safety, on how to use Vernier equipment or analytical balances. Her lab page contains a link to her page of experiments,, which is an extensive list well worth a visit.

----- gopher:// This gray gopher page, housed at the University of Utah, may be plain, but is one of the most vital links for teachers and administrators, but especially for chemistry teachers. Most schools must maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) in our near the chem labs. This site provides links to hundreds of common--and not-so-common--chemicals, available for emailing or downloading. The site can be accessed via the WWW or may be accessed by gophering to it from public library dial-up sites using gopher or lynx.

----- The Chemist's Art Gallery, maintained by Leif Laaksonen, contains a rich sampling of the latest in the visualization of molecules and of orbitals. It points to sites on the mysteries of water, the RASMOL gallery, visualizations at NCSA, and the well-dressed electrons! Although these pages are fascinating, you may have to download another program or a plug-in, such as CHIME, in order to see molecules rotating in space and orbitals changing energy levels!

----- Yue-Ling Wong's page, 3D Models of Atomic Orbitals, which used to be housed at the Hypermedia Project at Virginia Tech, are now housed at the Department of Chemistry, Wake Forest University on a server maintained by Ching-Wan Yip. In order to view the 3D orbitals (from 1s and 2p's to 4fy(3x2-y2)), you must first download a VRML reader (location is given). If you have a JPEG viewer, you can see most of these images at

To return to the Hemphill Home Page, click here .
R. Hemphill
October 1996