Plan a Hands-on Science Event

No matter how small or large your community, or whether your event is in-person or virtual, find suggestions for hosting a hands-on science demonstration. Find information on planning, fundraising, promoting events, and more.

Organizing a Successful Event

Before Your Event

  • Form an organizing committee. Contact local ACS members, K-12 schools, chemistry departments, community organizations, and businesses who share an interest in learning and teaching chemistry. See what resources they have available for your event. Distribute the customizable CCEW Fact Sheet to potential committee members, demonstrators, and partnering organizations.
  • Recruit and train your volunteers. Professors, industry members, lab technicians, and chemistry students make great teach-in speakers. Make sure your community is well represented in your list of demonstrators.
  • Choose a venue or digital platform to host your event. Request permission from potential venues (local school, library, museum, etc.) to host an event. Learn about event insurance coverage and request a certificate of insurance from ACS. Some online platforms require registration, others do not. Some platforms allow your broadcast to be recorded, others do not. Some ideas include Zoom, WebEx GoToWebinar, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories Live.
  • Conduct a safety analysis. In addition to reviewing (1) Safety Data Sheets, (2) ACS hazard assessment tools, (3) past incidents, and (4) tactics to minimize risk, decide which safety considerations will be shared in your interactions.
  • Get your event details in order. Check your space for exits and emergency equipment. Order any materials you don’t already have. Write a detailed procedure for the way the demonstration will be performed.Obtain photo release forms from partnering schools and other youth groups.
  • Practice your hands-on activities or demo and test drive technology. Using your detailed written procedure, practice the hands-on activity or demo the way it will be performed to make sure it works correctlyPractice the virtual demo in front of a virtual test audience like your organizing committee and any other demonstrators. Ensure that all cameras and microphones work well, picture and sound are clear, and that volunteers handling the technology are comfortable with what they need to do (e.g., switching between demonstrators, monitoring questions from the audience, etc.).
  • Fundraise for your event. This helpful fundraising guide contains ideas for funding sources, sample fundraising letters, acknowledgment letters, and more.
  • Advertise via social media. Request CCEW and ACS as a cohost of your event to add your event to the CCEW Facebook and website calendar. Use artwork from the Design Toolkit for your social media events and posts. Create digital flyers and email them to local schools, teachers, and community groups who may be interested in attending your event. Partner with local businesses and leaders who can promote with you.

During Your Event

  • Distribute giveaway items. Disseminate CCEW-themed merchandise and hard copies of Celebrating Chemistry to attendees. These products can be purchased through the ACS Store.
  • Amplify your live event. Share live updates from your event on social media using the hashtags #CCEW, #ChemistsCelebrateEarthWeek, #EarthDay2024 and #GreenChemistry. Afterward, share the success of your event through local section newsletters, print, and other communications channels.
  • Measure event success. Distribute surveys for attendees to complete to measure public impact and awareness.
  • Thank Volunteers. Don’t forget to thank volunteers for pitching in their time and resources for ensuring that your CCEW event is a success.

Following Your Event

  • Share the success of your event. Recap the success of your event through local section newsletters, print, and social media, using the hashtags: #CCEW #ChemistsCelebrateEarthWeek #EarthDay2024 #GreenChemistry
  • Show collective action. If hosting a virtual event, consider recording and posting your video online and on social media. Take screenshots of your demonstrators during their demonstrations. For both in-person and virtual events, share your screenshots, photos, and videos on the CCEW Facebook page using the Event Photos Submission Form. Obtain signed Photo Release and Consent Form (docx) from anyone pictured in photos, screenshots, or videos.
  • Thank your volunteers. Customize and (e)mail your volunteers, demonstrators, and committee members a thank you letter and certificate of participation to thank them for pitching in their time and resources for ensuring that your event is a success.
  • Apply for event awards. Your local section or division can compete for a ChemLuminary Award!

Interested in more training?

Check out the free Outreach Training Program, offered as in-person workshops or as an online course.

Looking for graphics?

Download professionally-designed themed branding materials, flyers, and web banners in our Design Toolkit to print or share on social media.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Week logo

Outreach Activities

Explore hands-on activities aligned to this year's CCEW theme:  Get a Charge Out of Chemistry.

Contact icon

Contact the ACS Office of Science Outreach