Sep 14-Dec 11, 2015
Credit: 3 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $990.65 NSTA members 10% discount
Instructor(s): Chris Bahn

Register Online

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Chemistry courses to an Atoms-First pedagogy in the teaching of their courses. The textbook and its ancillary materials will be used as the primary basis for the course although teachers will be required to utilize materials from various resources. Teachers will be exposed to the an Atoms-First approach to teaching AP or IB Chemistry which emphasizes a pedagogy of building chemical foundations before moving onto more difficult topics. Teachers will finish by developing lesson plans using this pedagogy to teach AP or IB Chemistry at the high school level. We will discuss how to best engage high school students in topics, classroom implementation practices and proposals, and lab exercises that support the teachings in the classroom. Teachers will develop and establish a plan to implement inquiry-based chemistry lessons that conform to an Atoms-First pedagogy.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend 9 - 12 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course.


Chris Bahn, PhD. is an adjunct assistant professor at Montana State University (MSU) in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A former high school teacher in Westminster, Colorado, he helped start a charter high school and developed the curricula for the math, science, and computer science programs. Currently, he is an instructor in the freshman chemistry program at MSU.


Graduate standing with two years of teaching experience.

Target Audience

The course is designed primarily for practicing science teachers, with at least two years of teaching experience, seeking graduate credit in Chemistry. Teacher-participants should currently teach or be scheduled to teach AP or IB Chemistry.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $105.50
 Computer Fee$10.65
 Distributed Learning Fee$75.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

NSTA Members are eligible to receive a 10% discount on tuition. Enter your NSTA Membership Number when you are asked for it on the registration form.

Required Books/Materials

  • Chemistry: Structure and Properties Plus Mastering Chemistry with eText --Access Card Package, by Nivaldo J. Tro.
    ISBN: 978-0321729736.
    Prentice Hall

You can order the text through the Montana State University Bookstore at 1-888-247-2546. Ask to speak with the Textbook Department. It will expedite your order if you tell the sales representative:

  • the course number (CHMY 591)
  • the title of the text
  • that the course is offered online through Extended University

  • The text may also be available from other sources.

    Computer Requirements:

    • Internet access
    • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

    This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

    For More Information

    contact Diana Paterson at or 406-994-5679.

    How to Register

    Register Online