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National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week logo

National Chemistry Week is a community based program of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This annual event unites ACS local sections, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life.

ACS members and NISE Network partners are encouraged to seek out local partners to carry out National Chemistry Week events. NISE Net is sharing a list of partner institutions that have held NanoDay events as a starting point for all ACS members. NISE Net participants can start their search for partners on the ACS page by following the links below.

NCW National Chemistry Week banner - no date





Volunteer and Event Coordinator Resources

  • ACS National Chemistry Week website: 
    learn how to get involved as find well as educational content and resources aligned to the yearly theme


More chemistry education resources:

Annual Themes 

2024 Theme: Theme: Picture Perfect Chemistry

En Español: Fotografía Perfecta de la Química 
Topic: Photography and Imaging 
October 20-26, 2024

2023 Theme: The Healing Power of Chemistry

Topic Health & Medicine

En Español: El Poder Curativo de la Química
October 15–21, 2023


2022 Theme: Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of Fabrics

En Español: Fibras Fabulosas: La Química de las Telas

Topic: Fabrics
October 16–22, 2022

NCW National Chemistry Week 2022 them Fabulous Fibers

NISE Network activities connected to the "fabulous fibers" theme

2021 Theme: Fast or Slow...Chemistry Makes It Go!

Reaction Rates

October 17-23, 2021

National Chemistry Week 2021 - Fast or Slow theme banner

NISE Network activities connected to the "fast or slow" theme

Online Workshop Recording:

2020 Theme: Sticking with Chemistry

Glues and Adhesives

October 18-24, 2020 

National Chemistry Week 2020 Banner Sticking with Chemistry






2019 Theme:  Marvelous Metals

Explores the properties and uses of metals

October 20-26, 2019 

National Chemistry Week 2019

2019 - International Year of the Periodic Table - 2019 Year-long event

IYPT logo 2019

Celebrating 150th anniversary of the periodic table.

2018 Theme: Chemistry is Out of This World

Focusing on chemistry of air, plants and water in the outerspace

National Chemistry Week 2018 banner

2017 Theme: Geochemistry Chemistry Rocks!

Covering chemistry of rock

National Chemistry Week 2017 logo banner

2016 Theme: Forensics: Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry

Focusing on the chemistry of fibers and forensics

2015 Theme: Chemistry Colors Our World

Exploring the chemistry of dyes, pigments, and light

Color and light activities created by the NISE Network 

2014 Theme: The Sweet Side of Chemistry - Candy

Showcasing the chemistry involved in candy and confections

National Chemistry Week 2014 - candy






Candy-related Activities

Food-related activities

More Resources

2013 Theme: Energy: Now and Forever!

Exploring chemistry and energy with a focus on sustainable resources






Energy Activities

  • Tiny Solutions to Our Big Energy Problem stage program: gives a brief overview of energy sources and our current energy crisis and discusses a variety of ways that nanotechnology can improve the way we harness energy (improving solar cells), distribute energy (carbon nanotube transmission lines) and use energy (nanotech-enhanced LED bulbs). It is primarily a slideshow presentation, designed for medium-to-large audiences. It consists mostly of a lecture, with a few live demonstrations and a few audience interactions.
  • Energy Challenges, Nanotech Solutions? forum: This forum places participants in the role of a governmental funding agency and asks them to consider how nanotechnology should fit into the timeline and scope of future national energy policy. A scientific expert begins the forum by providing a brief intro to nanotechnology and describing some of its potential benefits and possible uncertainties. A short video follows with three expert perspectives who discuss three possible energy funding strategies.
  • The Electric Squeeze cart demo: This cart demo is about piezoelectricity - how some crystals produce electricity when you squeeze them. Visitors learn about the history of piezoelectricity, how it's used, and how it's applied in nanotechnology. They make electric sparks, handle models and listen to cheesy music.

More chemistry activities on

2012 Theme: Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science!

National Chemistry Week 2012

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has partnered with the NISE Network to provide online outreach resources for National Chemistry Week. NISE Network and ACS educational staff have identified hands-on activities from previous NanoDays kits that can be repurposed for outreach events during National Chemistry Week. Below you will find a description of all relevant activities and a link to the official ACS National Chemistry Week publication featuring NISE net content.


  • Hydrogel: A hands-on activity in which visitors discover how a super absorbing material can be used to move a straw.
  • Graphene: A hands-on activity in which visitors use tape and graphite to make graphene and test the conductivity of graphite.
  • Gummy Capsules: Visitors make self-assembled polymer spheres. They learn that self-assembly is a process by which molecules and cells form themselves into functional structures, and that self-assembly is used to make nanocapsules that can deliver medication.
  • Nano Gold: A hands-on activity in which visitors discover that nanoparticles of gold can appear red, orange or even blue. They learn that a material can act differently when it’s nanometer-sized.
  • Nano Sand: A hands-on activity exploring how water behaves differently when it comes in contact with nano sand and regular sand. Visitors learn about the hydrophobic properties of nano sand.
  • Sunblock: Sunblock is a hands-on activity comparing sunblock containing nanoparticles to ointment. Visitors learn how some sunblocks that rub in clear contain nanoparticles that block harmful rays from the sun.
  • DNA: A facilitated, hands-on activity exploring deoxyribonucleic acid, a nanoscale structure that occurs in nature. Visitors extract a sample of DNA from split peas and put it in an Eppendorf tube to take home.

Banner header of NISE Network chemistry activities for National Chemistry Week


Celebrating Chemistry Nanotechnology 2012 ACS National Chemistry Week (NCW) cover

More Resources