I’m a chemist, and I’ve got a white lab coat to prove it. I love chemistry, and I have loved working with the team at BJU Press to produce Chemistry (4th ed.) I delved into the latest research on education and cutting-edge chemistry and worked with artists, designers, authors, high school chemistry teachers, and university chemistry professors. I investigated new educational strategies, explored new technologies, and broke out my lab coat and dorky goggles to bring my love for chemistry to your home and classroom.
Chemistry is valuable, because it’s all about living—the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and the materials we use to make our lives safer and better. As students around the world break open this textbook in the fall of 2015, they will see that chemistry is a powerful tool to glorify God and help people by working to solve real-world problems like car accidents, allergies, and the lack of clean drinking water.
My work on Chemistry (4th ed.) began about two years ago. The marketing research department at BJU Press surveyed hundreds of homeschool parents, teachers, and administrators to guide our progress. Our survey research showed that the previous edition was in good shape, both from an educational and scientific perspective, so this revision was a light one.
But you wouldn’t know that from looking at this new textbook. The pages sparkle with fresh design, new photos, and up-to-date topics. Chapter 1 engages students where they live to interact about how chemistry affects people and how we can view it from a scriptural perspective (e.g., using chemistry to develop pesticides and vaccines to fight malaria). New and engaging sidebars, on topics such as search and rescue after 9/11 and substance abuse, are sprinkled throughout the text. Worldview Sleuthing features on subjects such as the Fukushima nuclear accident are modeled after the popular WebQuest activities used by many science teachers, but these are specially designed with worldview-building in mind. They deal with the conflicts between a naturalistic worldview and a biblical worldview—teaching students how to think through common debates among scientists such as the discovery of the god particle, the theory of chemical evolution, and the secular view of the uses of chemistry.
Chemistry Student Lab Manual (4th ed.) gives students a fresh take on classic chemistry labs. Students get hands-on experience with what God has made by using the tools of chemistry in ways that make it applicable to their daily lives. Guided inquiry labs point students into new territory in chemistry with the freedom and support to discover chemistry for themselves. I hope your students will share my joy as they break out the lab coats and goggles and get their hands on God’s creation.
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Rachel Santopietro loves teaching, researching, and writing about science. But most importantly, she loves the One Who created it all. Rachel wants this enthusiasm to be contagious. The same sense of wonder that sparked her curiosity in childhood spurred her to pursue a degree in chemistry and a master’s degree education. She continues to be fascinated with the world and its Creator as she draws from her teaching experience to write secondary-science textbooks for BJU Press. During her personal time, Rachel enjoys observing nature while hiking with her husband and children.
What excites you most about chemistry?