Teacher’s online chemistry tips hit five-million mark on YouTube


James Donkin, alias MaChemguy posted his of his first free-to-view videos in 2013, since when he has helped countless pupils around the world, plus a few teachers.

James, from Roker, works at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.But the wonders of the internet have helped him pass on his knowledge far beyond.

He has now become recommended viewing by exam boards, including Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR).

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Chemistry teacher James Donkin, alias MaChemguy, has reached an incredible 5 million online hits for his homework tip videos.

Knowing his acid from his alkali has made him quite famous, and he has received positive feedback from grateful learners around the world, including a few pleasant comments on his Mackem accent.

However, he would have had even more hits had the 2020 exams not been cancelled due to coronavirus. In June 2019 alone he drew a whopping 400,000 views.

Nevertheless, his videos have been invaluable to Year 12 students during lockdown, as they are due to sit A-level exams in 2021.

James joked: “It’s almost like I knew this was going to happen! I went over the five million threshold on July 4.

Chemistry teacher James Donkin, alias MaChemguy, has reached an incredible 5 million online hits for his homework tip videos.

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“You’ve normally got the run-in to the exam season. The Year 13 students have no need to revise now. But the Year 12 kids are the ones I’ve been teaching at home and setting work for them online.

“Some teachers haven’t been able to do much for the students. I’ve been able to say ‘Just look at YouTube.’ They’ve had me to help, albeit an online version of me.

“We’ve also done Google Meets and live-streamed lessons, which was quite nerve wracking because you can’t edit and you don’t know what response you’re getting.

“I get around 200 people joining them from all over. I recently had a ‘hi’ from India.

“It’s been brilliant. It all came from something quite simple; a dry wipe board and an iPad. The videos have been recommended by the OCR exam board.

“The students have been great with handing in work. It’s worked very well.

“Who knows? Maybe someone who’s watched will be helping to fight pandemics one day.”

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