Are You a Chemistry Ambassador? Enter the “Everyday Chemistry” Video Contest

Are You a Chemistry Ambassador? Enter the “Everyday Chemistry” Video Contest

Communicating the value of chemistry to the public — being a Chemistry Ambassador — is an important skill for every chemist, from undergrads in their first chemistry class, to freshly-minted Ph.D.s to retired bench chemists. As C&EN celebrates 90 years of communicating chemistry, we want YOUR help to show the public how chemistry is all around us with a short, fun video from one of these two categories:

1)   What is your favorite everyday chemistry tip? In this category, you’ll create a video featuring a tip that will improve someone’s everyday life with chemistry. The video must include a clear explanation of the underlying chemistry that your grandmother/neighbor/cousin in middle school could understand.
A few examples: Add salt to your coffee to make it less bitter. Dissolve chocolate stains on your T-shirts with a solvent. Use lemon juice to save an avocado half from browning.

2)   The chemistry behind the stuff in our everyday lives. In this category, your video will explain the chemistry behind everyday phenomena, using language that a non-scientist would understand.
Some ideas: Why does caffeine give you a boost of energy (followed by an afternoon crash)? How do solar panels work? What are the chemical causes of a hangover?

Create a short video that explains in 2 minutes or less the chemistry behind these and other tips or everyday phenomena.  Be creative and engaging! The videos should be able to entertain and educate people with little to no scientific background.  For tips on speaking simply to non-scientists see

The winner of the contest will receive the following:

• Win a trip to the 246th ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis (the winner's hotel, meeting registration and travel costs will be covered, other restrictions may apply)
• A ticket to C&EN’s 90th Anniversary event featuring Food Network star and renowned science communicator Alton Brown
• The winning video will be featured in C&EN, ACS’ Bytesize Science YouTube channel, on the front page and in a profile on the Chemistry Ambassadors webpage

Some requirements for the videos:

• Video submissions should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo (do not attach videos to e-mail submissions)
• Film the video in quiet setting to minimize noise levels. If possible, use a microphone to record dialog for the video.
• If you film the video in a lab or use any hazardous materials, you must wear goggles and other appropriate safety equipment.
• Videos must be under 2 minutes in length.
• Send submissions to Include contact information, contest release form, a link to your Vimeo or YouTube video and a brief summary of your video.

Competition deadline:

• All entrees must be submitted no later than July 31, 2013.
• The winner will be announced in the the Aug. 26 issue of C&EN. 

Sponsored by C&EN, the American Chemical Society Office of Public Affairs, the ACS Office of International Activities and ACS President Marinda Wu