Chemistry ShortsTM communicating the breadth & depth of chemistry’s impact on humankind

The Chemistry ShortsTM series shows the vital role the chemical sciences play in the biggest issues facing the world. Each film is accompanied by a lesson plan to integrate the science behind these innovations into the classroom.

See Our Newest Film:

Cracking Chirality
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Crackling Chirality

with Dimitar Sasselov and S. Furkan Ozturk, Harvard University

“Cracking Chirality,” a twelve-minute film from Chemistry ShortsTM, explores how the essential molecules of life, like DNA, RNA, and proteins, acquired their homochiral structures and how magnetic rocks at the bottom of a prebiotic lake may have set the stage for life as we know it.

Other Films in the Series:

Frosty Formulations
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Frosty Formulations

with Maya Warren, Ice Cream ScientistTM

“Frosty Formulations,” a seven-minute short film from Chemistry ShortsTM, explores the surprising science behind one of the world’s favorite desserts. Ice cream is made up of dairy, sugar, flavorings, and chemistry! Like bubbles colliding and connecting, the interactions between the molecular components of ice cream are responsible for the dreamy qualities of texture and mouthfeel that we all enjoy so much. Those same interactions reveal important chemistry concepts that touch our lives daily.

Driving Reactions
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Driving Reactions

with Hal Alper, University of Texas at Austin, and Frances Arnold, the California Institute of Technology

Our world faces climate, economic, and sustainability challenges that we don’t yet have the tools to fix. The nine-minute film “Driving Reactions” explores how directed evolution and the chemical sciences are creating some of these new tools.

Untapped Potential
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Untapped Potential

with Meagan Mauter, Stanford University; David Sedlak, UC Berkeley; and William Tarpeh, Stanford University

Ensuring a safe water supply is one of the most compelling challenges humanity faces in the 21st century. The nine-minute film “Untapped Potential” highlights the game-changing solutions being developed in the chemical sciences.

Direct Air Capture
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Direct Air Capture & The Future of Climate Change

with Christopher Jones, Georgia Institute of Technology

Global climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time, and chemists and chemical engineers are at the forefront of this effort. One especially promising technology is Direct Air Capture.​

Rewriting Life Video
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Rewriting Life

with David Liu, Harvard University

The CRISPR-Cas9 technology, and the subsequent research-based innovations stemming from its discovery, integrate chemistry and evolution to program and re-program biology. David Liu’s lab has taken the basics of CRISPR and innovated the technology from cutting DNA to actually chemically swapping its component base pairs.

Under the Skin Video
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Under The Skin

with Zhenan Bao, Stanford University

Stanford chemical engineers have created a synthetic skin that can stretch like rubber, carry electricity, and self-heal. Working with chemical bonds, Zhenan Bao’s lab has chemically developed an entirely new class of synthetic polymers in order to create a highly functional replication of human skin.

Chemistry ShortsTM is created and sponsored by the
Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation
Funded in part by the
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Supported by the
Research Corporation for Science Advancement
Endorsed by
The organizations listed above encourage teachers to use these films in their classrooms to inspire future generations of chemical scientists.
Other Points of Interest

ACS Reactions (chemistry science videos and infographics)

ACS ChemMatters Magazine (articles that connect chemistry concepts and the real world)

AACT Classroom Resources (chemistry teaching resources)

AIChE K-12 Community (chemical engineering teaching resources and events)

ChemTalk (resources for learning about and teaching chemistry)

Nilay’s Chemistry (videos about foundational chemistry concepts)

LabXchange (teaching resources for science)

HHMI’s Biointeractive (interactive biology lesson and videos)

LabX’s “Chemists in the Kitchen” (videos about cooking and chemistry)

Jonte Lee (kitchen chemistry lessons)

The Artificial Leaf (artificial photosynthesis)

A Crash Course in Organic Chemistry (by Jakob Magolan)

Forgotten Genius” (the story of pioneering chemist Percy Julian)

The Poison Squad” (chemistry’s role in food safety)

Human Nature” (CRISPR-Cas9 documentary)

Dreyfus Foundation on YouTube (Teacher-Scholar profiles and Dreyfus symposia)