Since 1968, the University of Waterloo’s Chem 13 News magazine has provided a continuous resource to teachers of introductory chemistry worldwide. From its inception, Chem 13 News has played a lead role in developing passionate and concerned educators who inspire and groom the scientific leaders of tomorrow.
Reg Friesen, a professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Waterloo, started Chem 13 News in response to cries for help from high school chemistry teachers in Ontario when they had to adapt to curricular changes on short notice in 1968. Assisting him were several of his colleagues.
After a successful first year, Friesen and his editorial group sought active collaboration by high school chemistry teachers and other readers, asking them to share their ideas, innovations and experiences. The flood of responses greatly contributed to the impact and usefulness of the magazine. The concept of teachers helping teachers continues to be the backbone philosophy of Chem 13 News.
In 1986, Friesen passed the editorship to Lew Brubacher, a biochemistry professor, also in Waterloo’s Chemistry Department. Brubacher continued the tradition of promoting and expanding a network of contributors, and he guided the magazine through many changes in chemistry education during his 20 years as editor.
From 2006 to 2019, Jean Hein, a Waterloo Chemistry graduate and trained chemistry educator, became editor, bringing new energy and ideas. She initiated community projects that eventually developed a global reach, including the Periodic Table Project (2011), the Timeline of Elements (2019) and Mendeleev Mosaic (2019). As well, she moved Chem 13 News to an online format, with content going back to 2012 that was made freely accessible to all. Most of all she connected educators through her enthusiastic social media presence on Twitter.
We thank our readers, editors and contributors for 50 years of successful and memorable chemistry outreach!