National Chemistry Week (NCW) is a community-based program of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This annual program unites ACS local sections, student chapters, technical divisions, businesses, schools, and individuals in communicating the importance of chemistry to our quality of life. NCW occurs annually during the third week of October, typically the same week as Mole Day.
In 1986, George Pimentel, then ACS president, had an idea to better educate the public about the crucial role of chemistry in everyday life. ACS organized its first official National Chemistry Day on Nov. 6, 1987. By 1989, the ACS Board had approved National Chemistry Day, and it became an annual celebration, held every year in late October. In 1993, it was renamed National Chemistry Week.
The mission of NCW is to reach the public, particularly elementary and secondary school children, with positive messages about chemistry to:
- Make a positive change in the public's impression of chemistry;
- Promote a mechanism for effectively mobilizing ACS local sections; and
- Motivate the ACS membership through local section activities.
NCW is administered by the ACS Office of Science Outreach which is part of the Education Division. The Committee on Community Activities (CCA) serves as the advisory group for outreach programs, and selects and develops the NCW themes and materials.