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National Chemistry Week Kicks Off A Colorful Celebration

Outreach: Annual ACS-sponsored event begins on Oct. 19

by Linda Wang
October 16, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 41

Credit: ACS
The National Chemistry Week logo.
Credit: ACS

This year’s National Chemistry Week (NCW) promises to be full of color, with its theme, “Chemistry Colors Our World.”

The annual outreach event, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, takes place on Oct. 18 to 24 and focuses on the chemistry of color. Volunteers from ACS’s 185 local sections will lead hands-on activities at elementary schools, museums, shopping malls, and other public venues.

The goal of NCW is to “bring chemistry and chemists to the community,” says George Heard, chair of the ACS Committee on Community Activities, which coordinates NCW with the help of the ACS Office of Volunteer Support. “We’ve chosen a theme that everyone can relate to, and it’s a theme that should lend itself to some easy, innovative, and fun activities.”

The NCW publication Celebrating Chemistry, available in both English and Spanish, contains activity ideas and other resources. Also, ACS Productions will release a “Reactions” video on the darkest material in existence. And the American Association of Chemistry Teachers will offer lesson plans on color chemistry for high school chemistry teachers.

This year’s community event is an art supplies collection drive, and students in grades K–12 can enter the NCW Illustrated Poem Contest.

“What excites me most about NCW is how many volunteers we get,” Heard says. “It’s just amazing how many people we have doing something to celebrate.”


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