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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

Distributed by Annenberg Learner, PO Box 55742, Indianapolis, IN 46205-0742; 800-532-7637
Produced by Science Media Group, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Directed by Dr. Matthew H. Schneps
DVD, color, 13 30-min. programs on 4 discs
Sr. High - General Adult

Reviewed by A. Ben Wagner, Arts and Sciences Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 6/20/2014

This is a top-notch introduction to general chemistry consisting of 13 half-hour programs and 27 superbly produced live demonstrations. Also included are a substantial online text, course guide, interactive simulations, historical timeline, periodic table, and bonus disk containing just the demonstrations.

The concepts are tied into interesting historical notes using vintage video clips and real-life applications such as energy production, materials development, biochemistry, and environmental protection. On-screen research chemists provide narration and interviews in their actual research laboratory space providing an engaging visual context showing the equipment and techniques used by them. All concepts are simply and clearly explained. Care is taken to leave no term unexplained.

The production values are excellent providing a visually stimulating presentation without distracting from the underlying educational content. English closed captioning is available. In short, it is difficult to find anything to fault in this set of DVDís. The individual program descriptions are provided at the Annenberg Learner web site.