National Chemistry Week (NCW) is a public awareness campaign that promotes the value of chemistry in everyday life. ACS members and chemistry enthusiasts celebrate NCW by coordinating events and communicating the importance of chemistry. Each year the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) NCW campaign reaches millions of people with positive messages about the contributions of chemistry to their daily lives. NCW is a community-based annual event that unites ACS local sections, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life. It is the one time during the year that chemists, regardless of background, unite with the common goal of spreading the word that chemistry is good for our economy, our health and our well-being.
This Year’s National Chemistry Week theme is “Marvelous Metals!” focusing on metals. You will learn more about the chemistry of metals in this year’s issue of Celebrating Chemistry. Metals are chemical elements or mixtures of elements that are good conductors of electricity and heat. Precious metals such as gold, silver, and copper were some of the first elements identified by humans. Did you know that 76% of the elements in the periodic table are metals? Scientists have been studying the elements for hundreds of years. In fact, the modern periodic table is just a way to organize the elements and describe how they are related to each other. It is based on the work of a chemist named Dmitri Mendeleev. This year is the 150th anniversary of Mendeleev’s periodic table! The yearlong celebration is called the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” or “IYPT 2019.” The electronic version of the Celebrating Chemistry Newsletter is available from the ACS website (www.acs.org/ncw).
The Chemical Society of Washington (CSW), along with the ACS Office of Community Activities, is planning several NCW events. Volunteers are needed for these outreach activities. We are in the early stages of planning the events, so watch for additional information in the October Capital Chemist, or on the Capital Chemist and CSW webpages.
You can contribute to the NCW campaign by performing chemical demonstrations at a neighborhood school (consider having an illustrated poem contest); conducting hands-on activities with children at museums, malls, or libraries; or writing articles or letters to the editor of your local paper. If you would like to lead an activity at your local school or library, CSW will provide you with some grade specific materials to hand out to the students, as well as some simple demonstrations that you can use.
More information about local activities will be posted on the CSW (www.capitalchemist.org) web site as they become available. For further information, or to volunteer, contact the CSW NCW coordinator, Kim M. Morehouse via e-mail at Kim.Morehouse@FDA.HHS.GOV, or by phone at 240-402-1889 (day) or 301-384-7311 (evening).