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.


Year - Topic Theme Name - Main Focus - NCW Dates
2018 - Outerspace
Chemistry Out of This World
NCW 2018, October 21-27, will focus on chemistry of air, plants and water in the outerspace.
2017 - Geochemistry Chemistry Rocks!
NCW 2017, October 22-28, will cover the topics on chemistry of rocks.  
2016 - Forensics Solving Mysteries Through  Chemistry
NCW 2016 will focus on the chemistry of fibers and forensics.
2015 - Color   Chemistry Colors Our World
NCW 2015 examined the chemistry of color.
2014 - Candy The Sweet Side of Chemistry: Candy
NCW 2014 highlighted the chemistry involved in candy and confections.
2013 - Energy "Energy: Now and Forever!"
NCW 2013 explored how renewable and non-renewable energy sources power our planet.
2012 - Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science!
NCW 2012 focused on the nanoscience contributions to the environment, energy, materials, and health.
2011 - Chemistry and Health Chemistry: Our Health, Our Future!”
NCW 2011 emphasized the importance of chemistry to our health and future.
2010 - Movie Special Effects Behind the Scenes with Chemistry!”
NCW 2010 explored the chemistry behind special effects in movies.
2009 - Periodic Table Chemistry – It’s Elemental!
NCW 2009 was in honor of the 140th anniversary of the periodic table.
2008 - Sports Chemistry  Having a Ball with Chemistry
NCW 2008 focused on the chemistry of sports equipment, sports safety, and the body as it performs physical activities.
2007 - Careers in Chemistry The Many Faces of Chemistry
NCW 2007 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.
2006 - Materials Chemistry, Home Safety Your Home—It’s All Built on Chemistry
NCW 2006 Focused on the chemicals found in objects common to most homes and how chemistry has helped to improve materials used in building homes.
2005 - Chemistry in Toys The Joy of Toys
NCW 2005 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.
2004 - Food and Body Chemistry Health and Wellness
NCW 2004 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
2003 - Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemical Reactions Earth’s Atmosphere and Beyond!
NCW 2003 celebrated improvements in materials for flight, described the atmosphere, acid rain and the ozone layer.
2002 - Soaps and Detergents Chemistry Keeps Us Clean!
NCW 2002 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.
2001 - Chemistry and Art Celebrating Chemistry and Art
NCW 2001 explored the role that chemistry plays in the arts and includes activities that use chemistry to make works of art.
2000 - Kitchen Chemistry Get Cooking With Chemistry
NCW 2000 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.
1999 - Polymer Chemistry A Global Salute To Polymers
NCW 1999 investigated the properties of different polymers.
1998 - Pigments and Dyes World of Color
NCW 1998 featured use of natural plant materials in a global experiment to map the natural sources for eight colors.
1997 - Chemistry Is Everywhere Planet Chemistry
NCW 1997 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 Themes

2017 Theme and Dates  Chemistry Rocks!
October 22-28

2018 Theme and Dates  Chemistry Out of This World
October 21-27

Celebrating Chemistry Archive

Visit the ACS Network to access all Celebrating Chemistry editions published prior to 2016.