ACS Kids Zone

ACS Kids Zones are events that feature science activities conducted by ACS members to teach the public about the importance of chemistry.

Virtual ACS Kids Zone - Earth Day 2021

Reducing Our Footprint with Macromolecular Chemistry

Participate in Chemists Celebrate Earth Week and Earth Day 2021 by watching the recorded #ACSKidsZone event, hosted by Sam Jones, science communicator and host of Reactions. Conduct hands-on activities with popular STEM advocates around the educational theme, "Reducing Our Footprint with Macromolecular Chemistry."

Download the materials list and activity sheets below, and don't forget to share your photos on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook with the hashtag #ACSKidsZone!

Vimeo ID: 540260791

Materials List 

Download the materials list for all three activities to follow along with the presenters as you watch the event recording. Each of the activity write-ups are available below, with supplemental resources to take a deeper dive into the chemistry concepts.

Activity 1: Reduce Your Footprint with Shrinky Dinks

Presented by: Greglynn Gibbs, Chemistry Research Technologist & Lab Manager, Penn State Berks

Learn about very long chains of molecules called polymers, and explore plastics, a type of polymer that you may have come across. Then, reduce your plastic waste by making your own shrinky dink crafts using leftover polystyrene food packaging, also known as #6 plastic.

Deeper Dive

Activity 2: Cleaning Up Oil Spills with Chemistry

Presented by: Dyani Melgarejo, Chemistry Student, San Diego City College

In the event of an environmental disaster like an oil spill, chemistry comes to the rescue. Compare methods for cleaning up oil spills, some using chemistry, some not, then discuss the environmental impacts of your footprint.

Deeper Dive

Activity 3: Choose and Reuse Compostable Plastics

Presented by: T. Greg Tucker, Intellectual Property Technical Specialist, Skysong Innovations, Arizona State University

Fishing bait bags are useful in solving the problem of getting fishing bait to the river bottom where carp and other bottom-dwelling fish live, but typical nylon bait bags are harmful to the environment. Explore the different properties and uses of plastics with a dissolvable alternative to nylon bags and see how chemistry can solve this environmental problem.

Deeper Dive

Recent Events

Presidential Outreach Event - Fall 2020

Viewers explored the topic of innovation through chemistry with a virtual #ACSKidsZone event featuring Miss Camille Schrier — Miss America 2020 — and more distinguished guests. Host Bibiana Campos Seijo, Editor-in-Chief of Chemical & Engineering News, led viewers through four different virtual hands-on activities conducted by popular STEM advocates. This event was offered in two languages, English and Spanish. Participate in the event by downloading the activity sheets below, acquiring your activity supplies, and following along with the recording!

Vimeo ID: 447137880

Vimeo ID: 447139566

Activities and Presenters

Hosted by Bibiana Campos Seijo, Editor-in-Chief of Chemical & Engineering News. Activity write-ups and educational resources from the event are available below:

Past Events

Presidential Outreach Event – Fall 2019
San Diego, CA

More than 300 people attended the ACS Kids Zone on Saturday, August 24 at the Fleet Science Center during the Fall 2019 Meeting & Expo. Attendees conducted eight hands-on activities focused on the ACS National Meeting & Expo theme of “Chemistry & Water,” practiced being Science Storytellers with Chemical & Engineering News, celebrated the International Year of the Periodic Table, and received giveaway bags with periodic table posters and other educational merchandise. The Facebook event reached a total of 49,600 people and got over 2,000 responses. View pictures from the event on Facebook.

Presidential Outreach Event  – Spring 2019
Orlando, FL

Over 340 people attended the ACS Kids Zone on Saturday, March 30 at the Orlando Science Center (OSC) during the Spring 2019 Meeting & Expo. Attendees conducted nine different hands-on activities, which were facilitated by ACS members and students. Over 200 people were offered free tickets to the museum through a special partnership between ACS and OSC. Nearly all event attendees reported that they learned something new or interesting at the event, and that they would attend another event like this in the future. View pictures from the event on Facebook.

2018 National Chemistry Week (NCW) Kids Zone
Washington, DC

Over 320 attendees engaged in eight hands-on activities at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum on Tuesday, October 23 to celebrate National Chemistry Week and its 2018 space theme “Chemistry is Out of This World.” The museum and ACS hosted a full day of hands-on activities, speakers, and stage demonstrations, including building batteries with zinc and copper washers and launching rockets with citric acid and baking soda.

Boston Children's Museum

Presidential Outreach Event – Fall 2018
Boston, MA

Over 700 people attended the ACS Kids Zone on Saturday, August 18 at the Boston Children’s Museum during the 256th National Meeting & Exposition. Attendees conducted 13 different hands-on activities, which were facilitated by ACS members and partners, and included scientists and educators from Beyond Benign, Dow Chemical Company, MIT Museum, Museum of Science, and Science Storytellers with C&EN. View pictures from the event on Facebook.

Volunteer and girl at uv bead station at March for Science

2018 March for Science
Washington, DC

On Saturday, April 14, ACS joined the March for Science and other organizations on the National Mall in Washington, DC for global teach-ins and science festivities.

During the event, nearly 400 people visited the ACS Kids Zone. Children participated in hands-on activities geared towards the 2018 Chemists Celebrate Earth Week theme, "Dive into Marine Chemistry". Activities included Lose the Blues with CO2, Magic Nuudles, and UV-Detecting Beads. View pictures from the event on Facebook.

Volunteers at 2018 USA Science & Engineering Festival

5th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo
Washington, DC

The USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo took place on April 7-8, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The event was the nation’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) featuring more than 3,000 hands-on exhibits, 30 stage shows, and more! View pictures from the event on Facebook.

ACS volunteer and young girl smile at Kids Zone event in New Orleans

Presidential Outreach Event – Spring 2018
New Orleans, LA

ACS partnered with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission to host a Kids Zone community event on Saturday, March 17 at the Lyons Recreation Center. The free event provided families with the chance to conduct hands-on activities, receive goodie bags that included the ACS’s children’s publication, Celebrating Chemistry, learn more about ACS’s community partners and celebrate 15 years of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week with the theme “Dive into Marine Chemistry." View pictures from the event on Facebook.

To see more outreach event photos, visit our Facebook page ACS Outreach.

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Contact the ACS Office of Science Outreach