Educational Resources

CCEW 2021 Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

Find educational resources for this year's Chemists Celebrate Earth Week theme and other materials for your event, including outreach activities, activities, articles, and videos.


Elementary & Middle School (Ages 5–13)

From Middle School Chemistry
  • Carbon Dioxide Can Make a Solution Acidic – How does carbon dioxide affects a solution’s pH? Students then apply these observations to the environmental problem of ocean acidification by doing research on this issue.
From American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT)

Consider joining AACT for access to many more resources for chemistry teachers year-round and connect with a community of K–12 chemistry teachers.

For Middle School Students (Ages 11–13)
For Elementary School Students (Ages 5–10)

High School (Ages 14–18)

From ChemMatters

ChemMatters is a magazine that helps high school students find connections between chemistry and the world around them.

  • How to Make Fashion Sustainable – The clothing industry has been called out for years for its unsustainable practices. To shrink the environmental footprint of fashion, scientists are tackling the complex challenge of clothes-to-clothes recycling.
  • A Solar Future – An increasing number of everyday items are powered with the sun and electricity-generating solar power plants may become an alternative to coal and natural gas in the future.
  • Compost: Your Trash, Nature's Treasure! – Composting is a way to harvest crops with natural fertilizer and reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases—a win-win!
  • Acidic Seas: How Carbon Dioxide Is Changing the Oceans – Changes in our global atmosphere are adding carbon dioxide to the air we breathe, and also to our oceans.
  • Open for Discussion: Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet? – Nuclear power is often viewed by many as a dangerous technology that should become a relic of the past. But as the world seeks to reduce CO2 emissions to fight climate change, is it time to ramp up nuclear energy?
  • Cow Power: A Climate Change Solution from Manure – A growing number of farmers are turning a greenhouse gas that comes from raising animals into a source of energy to help fight climate change.

From AACT 

Consider joining AACT for access to many more resources for chemistry teachers year-round and connect with a community of K–12 chemistry teachers.

Celebrating Chemistry (Ages 9–12)

Activities for Science Outreach Events

  • Shrink Your Footprint with Shrinky Dinks
    Some kinds of plastic containers bend or shrink when they get too hot. Instead of throwing them away, let’s reuse these types of plastics in a fun way!
  • Find the Footprint of Your Favorite Snacks!
    In this activity, you’ll think about the amount of energy and resources needed to make your favorite snack food and get it to you fresh, delicious, and undamaged.
  • Be Cool... with Insulation!
    On a hot day, there’s nothing better than a cold drink. How can you keep your drink cool for the longest amount of time? Insulate!

Resources from the Earth Day Network

  • Teach-In Toolkit
    Plan an effective teach-in on topics like reforestation, climate change, food waste, plastic use, and more! Bring your community together and build capacity to make change!
  • Climate Civics Toolkit
    Explore ways to learn more about the local impacts of climate change and what it means to be an active participant in community civic action. A week’s worth of activities and lessons for learners ages 8-18 and beyond.
  • Food/Carbon Calculators 
    Several different calculators for measuring your footprints.
  • Billion Acts of Green 
    Ideas for actions you can take to lessen your footprint. Add your own!

Find more resources at

More Resources for Educators

General Interest

Find CCEW-themed resources for college students and adults.

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Contact the ACS Office of Science Outreach