CEF’s You Be The Chemist Essential Elements℠ program is a professional development workshop designed to provide K–8 educators—our “essential elements” in education—with methods for teaching chemistry concepts through hands-on learning and real-world connections.
Essential Elements is based on the 5E learning cycle approach to teaching, which is based in the theory of constructivism. Through this cycle, students build their own understanding of new concepts from both prior and new experiences. Each part of the cycle describes a phase of learning: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. During an Essential Elements workshop, the instructor will lead educators through a full 5E learning cycle utilizing a lesson from the Activity Guides. Educators then get a chance to collaborate and plan their own 5E lesson from additional Activity Guide lessons. Workshops are offered both in person and virtually throughout the year.