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Outreach: National Chemistry Week Will Spotlight Chemistry In the Community

by Linda Wang
October 11, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 41

National Chemistry Week (NCW), the American Chemical Society’s premier outreach event, will take place on Oct. 17–23. More than 10,000 volunteers are expected to participate in educational activities at venues including schools, museums, science centers, and shopping malls.

“This year’s theme, ‘Behind the Scenes with Chemistry,’ gives ACS members the opportunity to discuss TV shows, movies, and videos with the general public while explaining the chemistry involved in creating special effects used in the entertainment industry,” ACS President Joseph S. Francisco says.

NCW began in 1987 and is coordinated by the ACS Committee on Community Activities with support from the ACS Department of Volunteer Support. The annual outreach event unites ACS’s 189 local sections with businesses, schools, and individuals around the country to communicate the importance of chemistry to everyday life.

The ACS Office of Public Affairs has produced four NCW-themed podcasts in English and Spanish that will be posted on Oct. 18 on the NCW website ( and the Bytesize Science website ( The public affairs office has also teamed with ACS’s ChemMatters magazine to produce an NCW video on the chemistry of magic tricks, which can be viewed at

Visitors to the NCW website can also access a special issue of the hands-on activity newspaper Celebrating Chemistry, learn about a poster contest for students in grades K–12, and find out how to volunteer for an NCW event in their communities.


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