WELCOME to The Catalyst!

Chemistry Resources For The Secondary Education Teacher On The WWW


New links added throughout each month will be denoted by the NEW! symbol.
Links which are especially noteworthy will be denoted by the HOT! symbol.
Links which are on the verge of being deleted will be denoted by the This link is lost! symbol.

(All links to external sites will open in a separate browser window)

redballAmerican Plastics CouncilHOT!
The American Plastics Council (APC) is a major trade association for the U.S. Plastics Industry, which works to promote the benefits of plastics and the plastics industry. The APC provides several additional web sites focusing on plastics:
Plastics.org, "Your gateway to plastics on the internet,"
Plastics Resource, which contains information on plastics and the environment, and
Teaching Plastics, a site designed for teachers!

redballAtom World
This company sells unique space-filling molecular model construction kits. "Atom World models are different from other kits precisely because they represent the way atoms are believed to look in nature, and this gives them a 'space-filling' quality."

redballBasic Reactions in Organic Chemistry
This site contains VRML animations of basic organic chemistry reactions. To view the animations you must have a browser capable of handling VRML, or the Cosmo Player plug-in.

redballCarbon is 4 Ever
As Agent Bond...Carbon Bond, you work through a series of spy files and missions to gather information and learn about Carbon and its compounds. If you play shrewdly, you will be able to gather clues that will eventually let you pit your skills aginst the final challenge. This site requires a javascript enabled browser and (if you want to hear the music) a sound card.

redballThe Catalyst
Don't forget to check out the "Experiments/Demonstrations/Activities" page. Many of the links listed on this page also include organic demos and/or experiments.

redballChemistry ConcepTests
This site is home to Chemistry ConcepTests, a method of in-class peer instruction developed by Eric Mazur.

redballChemItem/Organic Question Bank
"The purpose of this test item bank is to provide a set of examination and/or practice questions in organic chemistry and laboratory from which the user can draw items, selected from the keyword index, review them on screen, then download items in Microsoft Word to the user's computer for assembly, editing and printing."

redballCHEMystery: An Interactive Guide to Chemistry
CHEMystery is a virtual chemistry textbook which provides an interactive guide for high school chemistry students. It contains a section on organic chemistry.

redballColby College Organic Chemistry Page
This page is the starting point for another nice organic chemistry information center, hosted by Colby College. While some of the information is specific to the university, much of the information is presented in such a manner that it can be used in the high school setting. Of note here are the Computer Demos and Organic Webcards. Both of these require the Shockwave plug-in.

redballErik's Chemistry
This site contains some nice condensed notes covering some topics in organic chemistry.

redballThe Golden Rules of Organic Chemistry
This page contains seven golden rules that "explain a very large number of things about the way organic molecules interact."

redballIntroduction to Basic Organic Nomenclature
The topic of organic nomenclature is addressed at this site. There are exercises at the end of most of the tutorials to check comprehension. Portions of this site require the Chime plug-in OR RasMol to use, as some molecular models are used for demonstration purposes. (From the Okanagan University College)

redballAn Introduction to Organic Chemistry
This page presents a concise "beginners' guide to the chemistry of Carbon compounds."

redballIsomer Construction Set HOT!
This page contains a wonderful, computer model isomer building project.

redballIUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry
This site contains an HTML reproduction of the IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry. It is published by Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc. with permission of the IUPAC.

redballIverson's Movie Directory
This site contains simulation movies of different types of organic chemistry reactions. It requires QuickTime and/or the Chime plug-in to view the movies. Dr. Iverson has also created a few alkane movies.

redballThe MacrogalleriaHOT!
The Macrogalleria is an internet mall where you can learn all kinds of things about polymers and polymer science. You can get basic and detailed information.

redballMolecular Modeling for Chemical Education
A site funded by the NSF devoted to molecular modeling that has some nice movies which demonstrate organic chemistry principles. (From Lebanon Valley College)

redballMolecular Models from Chemistry at Okanagan University College HOT!
This site contains a VERY LARGE collection of molecular models (1400+), predominately organic, which can be used with beginning students in organic chemistry as educational aids. It requires the Chime plug-in OR RasMol to use.

redballOn-Line Naming Service NEW!
"The [IUPAC's] ad hoc Committee on Chemical Identity and Nomenclature Systems has established a working relationship with ACD that provides on-line naming service. A limited version of the software providing names generated by application of IUPAC recommendations is accessible for free use."

redballOrganic Chemistry I & Organic Chemistry II
A very nice set of sites containing a good deal of information about organic chemistry. They cover basics and very advanced topics.

redballOrganic Chemistry Help
This site contains some really nice organic chemistry tutorials, practice tests, and other organic chemistry information. While some of the information provided is probably above the high school level, much of the information is presented in such a manner that it can be used in the high school setting. (From Frostburg State University)

redballOrganic Chemistry Help Homepage
This page is the starting point for a nice organic chemistry information center, hosted by Purdue University. While some of the information is specific to the university, much of the information is presented in such a manner that it can be used in the high school setting.

redballOrganic Chemistry Laboratory Topics
This site has some thorough organic chemistry lab information. Much of this information is beyond the scope of most high schools. However, some of the information might be useful and it is presented in such a manner that it can be used in the high school setting. (From the University of Colorado at Boulder)

redballOrganic Chemistry OnLine
This site contains some very detailed information about many topics in organic chemistry. It is arranged in an online textbook type format. The intended audience is college students, but some of it is definitely applicable on the secondary level. (From the University of Illinois at Chicago)

redballOrganic Online
This site is designed to supplement the text Invitation to Organic Chemistry by A. William Johnson. The student portion of the web site contains information and activities designed to enhance the textbook. Those sections of interest are the 'Gallery of Chime Molecules' (which contains over 300 molecules) and the 'Mechanism Movies' (which contains QuickTime movies of important reaction mechanisms). The intended audience is college students, but some of the information is definitely applicable on the secondary level. Portions of this site require the Chime plug-in and/or QuickTime to use.

redballPolymers & Liquid Crystals
This site contains some very detailed information about polymers and liquid crystals. Parts of this site would be applicable for the secondary level; specifically some organic chemistry basics and an introduction to polymers in the Virtual Textbook section. It requires a javascript capable browser, and the QuickTime and Shockwave plug-ins for proper viewing.

redballSoap and Detergent Chemistry
This site, hosted by the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), contains some good information about the chemistry behind soaps and detergents.

redballThe Vinyl Institute
The Vinyl Institute is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives and modifiers, and vinyl packaging materials. It works to promote and protect the industry and the markets it serves. The Vinyl Institute provides an additional web site focusing on vinyl:
The Vinyl Industry Portal page, contains additional information about vinyl.

yellowballWhat's Oil & What do you do with it? This link is lost!
This page contains a good, basic description of how petroleum was made, what it is used for (including petrochemicals), and what goes on during the refining process. Included are several diagrams of a fractionating tower. This information comes from Ashland Inc. and is targeted at younger students.

redballWWU Virtual Molecular Model KitHOT!
This page was created by Western Washington University for organic chemistry students who might prefer using the computer to view molecular models rather than a physical model set. It requires the Chime plug-in OR RasMol to use.