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Anticipation Builds For National Chemistry Week

Public Outreach: ACS event begins Oct. 21 and will celebrate the growing nanotechnology enterprise

by Linda Wang
October 12, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 42

Credit: Neal Abrams
Children around the U.S. will engage in hands-on activities during National Chemistry Week.
Photo of children making chemical worms at a Syracuse Section NCW event.
Credit: Neal Abrams
Children around the U.S. will engage in hands-on activities during National Chemistry Week.

Nanotechnology will be celebrated and explored as part of this year’s National Chemistry Week, sponsored by the American Chemical Society and set to take place on Oct. 21–27. At venues large and small, the 187 ACS local sections nationwide, with support from the society’s headquarters, will each put their own spin on this year’s theme.

Volunteers from the ACS local sections will also unite with businesses, schools, and individuals in their areas to communicate the importance of chemistry to everyday life. Educational activities will be held across the country at locations that include elementary schools, museums, and shopping malls.

“Nano is becoming the next big thing,” says Lynn M. Hogue, chair of the ACS Committee on Community Activities (CCA), which coordinates NCW with the help of the ACS Office of Volunteer Support. “If we can get kids interested in the subject, some of them might be the scientists of tomorrow that take nano even further.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of NCW, which was launched in 1987 as National Chemistry Day. To commemorate the anniversary, CCA held a symposium and reception during the fall ACS national meeting in Philadelphia. In Tennessee, the ACS government affairs committee has secured a Federal Congressional Record, which is equivalent to a resolution, honoring the 25th anniversary of NCW.

ACS offices and divisions are also getting involved in the NCW celebration. For example, the ACS Office of Public Affairs has prepared videos and blogs on NCW, and the ACS Publications Division will feature content from several ACS journals centered on the topic of nanotechnology.

The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) is partnering with ACS to offer resources and activity ideas for NCW. In addition, copies of the NCW publication, Celebrating Chemistry, are available online in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. And as in previous years, students in grades K–12 are invited to participate in an illustrated poetry contest. For more information about NCW, visit



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