The Energy Foundations Project

Energy Foundations for High School Chemistry is a collection of resources that you can use to teach the big ideas about energy in your high school chemistry classroom. Featuring lab investigations, demos, student readings, and multimedia, it provides educational pieces that will support your existing curriculum.

Although the resources are organized into four sections, this is only one suggested way of stepping through the content. Please be encouraged to skip around and choose the pieces from each section that best meet the educational needs of your specific classroom. Likewise, the organization of resources within a section is meant only as a guide.Taken together, every piece of content is intended to be used à la carte, with sufficient flexibility to accommodate varying approaches and needs.

The Authors

Energy Foundations was developed and written by Michael J. Tinnesand, Erica K. Jacobsen, Melanie Rock, and Education Division staff at the American Chemical Society.

Michael, Erica, and Melanie have decades of experience in chemistry teaching and science education consulting. You can find more resources from the ACS Education Division at www.acs.org/education.


The activities described in High School Energy are intended for students under the direct supervision of teachers. The American Chemical Society (ACS) cannot be held responsible for any accidents or injuries that might result from conducting the activities without proper supervision, from not specifically following directions, or from ignoring the cautions contained in the lessons.

The term “goggles” used in the safety section of each lesson refers to chemical splash goggles as shown in the picture at right and in the icon accompanying every activity in the lessons.

The Sponsor

All of the resources from Energy Foundations are made possible by funding from BP.

Welcome from the Authors

Dear Fellow Educators,

Welcome to the new High School Energy Module from the American Chemical Society! In this website you will find content for high school chemistry teachers, including demos, videos, and articles that teach concepts of energy in the context of laboratory investigations.

The idea for this project started with a grant from BP and included teacher surveys and interviews. Teachers were asked about which topics and content types would be most beneficial.

In order to make these materials as widely useful as possible, we sought to align them with the Next Generation Science Standards, which were based on the National Research Council’s Framework for K–12 Science Education. Although we’ve presented our ideas in a slightly different order and description, there is a close match between the ACS High School Energy Module and the NGSS.

Each of the elements of the module can be used alone or as a complete set of activities, depending on your curriculum needs. In addition, many of the activities are presented in a format that can be downloaded and modified to meet your specific requirements.

We are confident you will find these materials useful, and we hope you enjoy using them. If you have any comments about these materials, please feel free to contact us at highschoolenergy@acs.org.


Michael J. Tinnesand
Lead Curriculum Developer