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.

Recent Event

ACS Kids Zone - Chemists Catalyze Change

Presidential Outreach Event, ACS Fall 2021 
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA and on Facebook Live

Chemists are catalysts for positive scientific and social change in communities everywhere! The ACS Committee on Community Activities and ACS President H. N. Cheng along with partners ACS Georgia Local Section, Spelman College Chemistry Club, and others hosted a hybrid in-person and virtual science event in celebration of the theme, Chemists Catalyze Change. During a one-hour shift, attendees and viewers:  

  • Conducted engaging hands-on science activities
  • Interviewed scientists at Meet a Chemist tables
  • Learned how to advocate for chemistry
  • Watched a short interactive play at the chemistry theater called “Choose That Catalyst,” authored by Holly Walter Kerby of Fusion Science Theater and funded by the National Science Foundation's Advancing Informal Science Learning Division

Watch the Virtual Event Recording

The Facebook Live event has been watched by thousands of interested families! You too can watch a recording of the virtual event on Facebook where ACS science communicator Allison Tau walks you through the full program, from watching the play in the chemistry theater to conducting the hands-on activities.

Download the Hands-On Activities

Want to do the activities from the event at home? Download the activity instructions below:

Learn About Chemistry Advocacy

Chemists Catalyze Change design
Picture of the hosts of the chemistry play "Choose That Catalyst"
Picture of volunteers at the ACS Kids Zone in Atlanta
Credit: David Horwitz/ACS
Picture of a kid conducting a hands-on activity with light sticks

Past Event

Virtual ACS Kids Zone - Earth Day 2021

Reducing Our Footprint with Macromolecular Chemistry

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

This event is offered in English with closed captioning in Spanish and Chinese. Download the materials list and activity sheets in all three languages below. 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

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