National Chemistry Week
National Chemistry Week
National Chemistry Week began as National Chemistry Day, and was a vision of then ACS President, George C. Pimentel. In 1986, Pimentel stated that…

National Chemistry Day is a bold and exciting undertaking for us. Its success will be measured, in the short term, by the number of people reached by our efforts. Over the long term, we will measure our success by the continued use of chemistry to solve societal problems and to improve the quality of life for us all.

This visionary statement led the ACS Board of Directors to establish National Chemistry Day (NCD), which was celebrated November 6, 1987.
A parade spanning two blocks in Washington, DC, helped kicked off the celebration with 173 out of 182 ACS local sections participating in the festivities within their communities. NCD was so well-received by the general public that in 1988 it received the highest honor accorded for excellence in public relations and was awarded the Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil.
The original intent was to celebrate NCD on a biannual basis. Because of the overwhelming enthusiasm and support shown in its debut year, NCD was expanded to a weeklong celebration and renamed, “National Chemistry Week” (NCW) in 1989. In 1993, NCW officially became an annual event, although many ACS local sections had already been celebrating it annually.

2016 National Chemistry Week
By Raymond Lam, Assistant Professor, Science and Mathematics, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

The theme for National Chemistry Week (NCW) 2016 was “Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry.” The Northeastern Section of American Chemical Society (NESACS) teamed up with Boston Children’s Museum and Museum of Science – Boston once again to host two public events and one high school series event. This year also marked the first year after the passing of Dr. Christine Jaworek-Lopes, our beloved NCW chair, organizer, and contributor for the past decade. A special poster was put up at all the events, and a blue tie was printed on our volunteer T-shirts in memory of her courageous fight against colorectal cancer and to raise awareness.
Prior to the events, a volunteer orientation event was held at the Museum of Science – Boston on Sunday, October 2. Volunteers got an early preview of the activities provided this year, and many offered suggestions for improvements. On Sunday, October 16, NESACS sponsored a NCW 2016 Kick-Off Event at the Museum of Science. Volunteers ensured that more than 250 visitors to the day-long event enjoyed a number of hands-on activities. Among the highlights of the day were the two Phyllis A. Brauner Memorial Lectures, presented by Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Professor
of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Our second event was the High School Science Series on Thursday, October 20, also held at the Museum of Science. Students participated in a number of hands-on activities and demonstrations facilitated by NESACS volunteers and Museum of Science staff. Two lecture demonstrations were
given by David Sittenfeld.
Our last event was held at Boston Children’s Museum on Saturday, October 22. In addition to all the hands-on activities related to the yearly theme,
Boston Children’s Museum staff also set up a crime scene as an introduction to all the activities. The crime scene revolved around a stolen birthday cake from a birthday party and the various evidences left behind by the suspect. Visitors were asked to help the detective solve the crime by participating in the activities and learning the different techniques. The crime scene setup was well received, with the younger audiences intrigued
and eager to carry out the activities. Visitors were also given a stamp sheet as they entered our activity area and we had chemistry-related stamps
made so visitors could collect stamps at each station. Approximately 1000 visitors participated in the event and our visitors loved the stamps idea as it encouraged them to do as many activities as possible.
The activities and demonstrations that were performed throughout NCW 2016 include: making UV bracelets, writing secret messages using goldenrod paper and ammonia, urine analysis, blood detection with luminol, finger printing, height determination using shoe size, testing food for starch/sugar/ protein, pH testing of everyday chemicals, density gradient of soil, microscopic view of soil, fibers and hair, and chromatography
of ink. ACS NCW promotional materials, bookmark magnifiers, and outreach materials and safety glasses generously donated by Millipore Sigma
were given as souvenirs for NCW 2016.
Photos from NCW at the Boston Children’s Museum.
Photos by Alissa Daniels.
The success of our events would not have been possible without the effort from our contributors and volunteers. Special thanks to everyone at Boston Children’s Museum and Museum of Science – Boston for hosting the events, and to Millipore Sigma for their generous donation. Our visitors appreciated the patience, enthusiasm, passion and energy from our volunteers from Beyond Benign, Brandeis University, Emmanuel College, Gordon College, Malden Catholic High School, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Nipmuc Regional High School, Northeastern University, Salem State University, Stonehill College, Suffolk University, Toxikon Corp, and Youth Mensa.
Children, grades K-12, were able to participate in the national poster competition. Congratulations to Owen Hale (7th Grader) from Woodbury Middle
School for winning the 6th – 8th Grade category and Sindhu Mukundan (10th Grader) from Pioneer Charter School of Science I for winning the 9th – 12th Grade category.

Winners of the Poem Contest:

  • Anisha Kundu (8th Grader) from Ephraim Curtis Middle School won the 6th – 8th Grade category
  • Sindhu Mukundan (10th Grader) from Pioneer Charter School of Science I won the 9th – 12th Grade category.


ACS NCW 2015 Boy Scout’s Autumn Festival-Cape Cod Science Café 1015

- by Dr. Jack Driscoll and Jennifer Maclachlan
Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society, Cape Cod Science Cafe and STEM Journey Committee

On Oct. 25, 2015 (1-5 PM), a NESACS Cape Cod Science Café was held at Camp Greenough, Yarnouth,  MA in conjunction with the Wicked Cool Autumn Festival of the Cape and Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America (C&ICBSA). There were more than 300 in attandence
The event consists of hay rides  carving  pumpkins, building your own bat house fishing on Lake Greenough, archery, visit with a blacksmith, creating cider with an antique cider press and experiencing STEM and Scouting.
NESACS has worked with the C&I C BSA to integrate STEM into the Boy Scout’s activities. We decided to promote this event as part of the ACS National Chemistry Week (NCW), and opened the event to the public so that the people of Cape Cod can experience the ACS NCW. The theme of the ACS NCW this year is Chemistry Colors our World. <>

National Chemistry Week News and Information
2011 National Chemistry Week Events