Contact: Michael Bernstein
215-418-2056 (Philadelphia Press Center, Aug. 17-23)
215-418-2056 (Philadelphia Press Center, Aug. 17-23)
American Chemical Society
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 20, 2012 — The event that has introduced hundreds of thousands of young people to the wonders of science ― and helped launch careers in science, technology, engineering, medicine and other fields ― is being honored at a special symposium here today. The observance of the 25th anniversary of National Chemistry Week (NCW) takes place during the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.
Thousands of ACS volunteers, teachers and students celebrate NCW in their communities and schools during the fourth week of every October. They organize hands-on activities and demonstrations at malls, museums, schools, stores and other locations all over the United States.
The events have included hands-on activity events in libraries, elementary and secondary school classrooms, malls, museums of science, children's museums, colleges and universities, state fairs, etc.
NCW 2012, with the theme "Nanotechnology: The Smallest Big Idea in Science," will be held Oct. 21-27. The program is a community-based effort sponsored by the ACS and designed to promote awareness of the value of chemistry in people's everyday lives. NCW brings chemists together with students, teachers, business leaders and other people through hands-on science events, chemistry, public lectures, demonstrations and other events.
"The demonstrations, hands-on-activities and other events in National Chemistry Week have introduced thousands of young people to one of the biggest secrets about science," said ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Ph.D. "Science is fun. By demonstrating how much fun science can be, National Chemistry Week has been an advocate for science, and imparts the joy of discovery that has engaged young minds and fostered careers in science, mathematics and technology for 25 years. ACS promotes public engagement by its members to share the joy of scientific exploration and the emotional rewards of discovery. The speakers in this symposium are exemplars of communicating that excitement to the public."
The symposium is one of Shakhashiri's special presidential events. A professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Shakhashiri's own chemistry demonstrations are world-renowned, and he is co-author of textbooks on the topic.
NCW began as National Chemistry Day (NCD) in 1987 after the ACS Board of Directors embraced the idea suggested in 1986 by the late George C. Pimentel, Ph.D., then ACS president. His widow, Jeanne Pimentel, will be among the speakers in today's symposium. A parade in downtown Washington, D.C., helped kicked off the events with 173 out of 182 ACS local sections participating in their communities. The event was so well-received by the general public that in 1988 the Public Relations Society of America awarded its Silver Anvil to NCD. This was the highest honor awarded for a public relations project.
Because of its overwhelming success in its first year, ACS expanded NCD to a weeklong celebration in 1989 and renamed it "National Chemistry Week." In 1993, ACS officially designated it an annual, weeklong event.
The 25th anniversary symposium will include presentations by
Abstracts of other presentations appear below.
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Among the presentations in the symposium, to be held Monday, Aug. 20 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Liberty Ballroom C (Level 3) from 8:35 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. are:
A Few Thoughts on National Chemistry Week As Outreach To…Chemists
William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D., board chair and past president, American Chemical Society, Occidental Chemical Corporation.
National Chemistry Week (NCW) is generally thought of as an opportunity to reach out to the community. But there is another important audience: chemists. As a group, chemists wonder whether their value is perceived by the world around them. Engagement in NCW can be an important way in which we reach out to one another. A few recollections from the Extreme Tours of 2005 and 2006 will be used as examples.
Barbara G. Tversky, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Stanford University
Visual representations of thought are ancient: cave paintings and tallies precede written language and gestures precede spoken language. Both gestures and diagrams abstract the essential ideas and externalize them, expanding the workings of the mind to promote inference, insight, and communication.
Chemistry in the Museum; Engaging the Public with Demonstrations and Conversations
David Sittenfeld, The Museum of Science, Boston
Science centers are exciting venues for National Chemistry Week celebrations, because they are welcoming, trusted, and innovative environments for scientists and the public to come together. With the help of committed partners from the scientific community, science museums are working in multiple and varied ways to inspire future scientists, connect their visitors to chemists representing all specialties, demographics, and backgrounds, and engage diverse publics in multi directional conversations around issues that lie at the intersection of chemistry and society.
The joy of toys: finding chemistry in unexpected places
Lynn Hogue, Miami University, Middletown , Center for Chemistry Education
Arlyne (Mickey) Sarquis, CEO, Terrific Science & Partner, Terrific Innovations, LLC, director emerita, Center for Chemical Education and professor emerita, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry – Miami University (Ohio)
What's more natural than using toys as tools to communicate chemistry? After all, play is learning without punishment! Toys provide motivational and experiential links between science concepts and the everyday world. These familiar objects are the perfect way to capture the interest of students and adults alike and reunite the fun, hands-on with the mental, minds-on aspects of chemistry.
Nanoscale Science and Engineering: The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network's programs to engage and encourage exploration of nanoscale topics
Nancy Healy, education & outreach coordinator, National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) Georgia Institute of Technology
The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network is an integrated partnership of 14 universities funded by NSF to provide state-of-the art resource to nanoscale researchers. In addition, we offer education and training to address the growing need for a skilled workforce and informed public. We provide resources, programs, and materials to enhance knowledge of nanotechnology and its application to real-world issues. This presentation will provide an overview of programs used to engage individuals in exploring nanotechnology from young students through adult professionals.
The Secret Life of Food--Better Cooking Through Chemistry
Shirley Corriher, Author/Chef/Scientist
Use a little protein chemistry for fearless main courses, and make even better chocolate chip cookies with help from chemistry! Shirley Corriher's talks are full of fun and fascinating information. Many have seen her as "the mad scientist" on Alton Brown's TV show Good Eats. She holds audiences spellbound while she acts out everything from proteins to starch. Shirley has taught from Vancouver to Sicily, has written an internationally syndicated column (The Los Angeles Times Syndicate and Tribune Media Services,1996-2011), and is an award-winning author. Her book, CookWise, was the James Beard Award winner for Best Reference and Technique Book of 1997 and has sold over 500,000 copies. Her book, BakeWise, out in 2008, also won the James Beard Award.
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