National Chemistry Week Themes

National Chemistry Week (NCW) began in 1987 as National Chemistry Day.

Annual themes were added in 1997 to help give direction and variety to the celebration each year by changing the focus within the field of chemistry.

We hope these archived materials will be of use during anytime of the year.

General Topic - Date Theme Name - Main Focus
Energy - 2013 "Energy: Now and Forever!"
National Chemistry Week (NCW) 2013 explored how renewable and non-renewable energy sources power our planet.
Nanotechnology - 2012 "Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science!"
NCW 2012 focused on the nanoscience contributions to the environment, energy, materials, and health.
Chemistry and Health - 2011 “Chemistry: Our Health, Our Future!”
Emphasized the importance of chemistry to our health and future.
Movie Special Effects - 2010 “Behind the Scenes with Chemistry!”
Explored the chemistry behind special effects in movies.
Periodic Table - 2009 Chemistry – It’s Elemental!
In honor of the 140th anniversary of the periodic table.
Sports Chemistry - 2008 Having a Ball with Chemistry
Focused on the chemistry of sports equipment, sports safety, and the body as it performs physical activities.
Careers in Chemistry - 2007 The Many Faces of Chemistry
Emphasized the diversity of the discipline and its practitioners and coupled a career profile with a chemistry activity related in some way to the career.
Materials Chemistry, Home Safety - 2006 Your Home—It’s All Built on Chemistry
Focused on the chemicals found in objects common to most homes and how chemistry has helped to improve materials used in building homes.
Chemistry in Toys - 2005 “The Joy of Toys”
Celebrated the chemistry in toys—the materials used to create them and some that use chemistry or chemical reactions as part of how they work.
Food and Body Chemistry - 2004 “Health and Wellness” Shared information about food choices and how they can influence some diseases, including diabetes. It also emphasized the chemistry happening in various parts of the body
Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemical Reactions - 2003 “Earth’s Atmosphere and Beyond!”
Celebrated improvements in materials for flight, described the atmosphere, acid rain and the ozone layer.
Soaps and Detergents - 2002 “Chemistry Keeps Us Clean!”
Discussed the chemistry of soaps and detergents, surface tension of water, and chemistry’s role in cleaning, including an article on the importance of hand washing.
Chemistry and Art - 2001 “Celebrating Chemistry and Art” Explores the role that chemistry plays in the arts and includes activities that use chemistry to make works of art.
Kitchen Chemistry - 2000 “Get Cooking With Chemistry”
Examined the properties of powders used in cooking: baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, etc. It also looked at the power of chemistry in raising bread and making cheese.
Polymer Chemistry - 1999 A Global Salute To Polymers”
Investigated the properties of different polymers.
Pigments and Dyes - 1998 “World of Color”
Featured use of natural plant materials in a global experiment to map the natural sources for eight colors.
Chemistry Is Everywhere - 1997 “Planet Chemistry”
Celebrated the 10th anniversary of the program with activities focused on hard and soft water testing, measuring pH, and making crystals with Epsom salts.

Future Theme

NCW 2015 will investigate color chemistry through the theme, 
"Chemistry Colors Our World".