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National Chemistry Week To Begin

Outreach: Event entices public through the sweet side of chemistry

by Linda Wang
October 3, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 40

Chemists with a sweet tooth will get a treat during this year’s National Chemistry Week (NCW), which celebrates “The Sweet Side of Chemistry—Candy.” On Oct. 19–25, thousands of volunteers will lead hands-on activities at public venues across the U.S.

“NCW is the only activity we do that engages thousands of ACS members and the general public in understanding how chemistry improves everyday life,” says American Chemical Society Executive Director and CEO Madeleine Jacobs.

“We’re showing the community that chemistry is everywhere and that chemistry is fun,” says George Heard, chair of the Committee on Community Activities, which coordinates NCW with the help of the ACS Office of Volunteer Support.

President Barack Obama has issued a letter honoring NCW 2014, and the U.S. Senate has adopted a resolution in honor of the event. ACS Productions, in collaboration with ACS Member Communities, will produce three videos on the careers of candy chemists and will release a new “Reactions” video on the chemistry of sweetness.

The new American Association of Chemistry Teachers will offer lesson plans on candy, and ACS’s undergraduate office will produce a blog series called #SweetFailures, which will highlight science fails that turned into sweet victories. An Oct. 16 ACS webinar will feature the science behind sugary treats.

This year’s community event will be a candy collection drive, and students in grades K–12 can enter the NCW Illustrated Poem Contest. In addition, copies of the NCW publication Celebrating Chemistry will be made available.


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