About National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week (NCW) is a community-based program of the American Chemical Society (ACS). This annual program unites ACS local sections, student communities, 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.

Upcoming Themes

NCW 2023

October 15–21, 2023
Topic: Health & Medicine
Theme: The Healing Power of Chemistry
En Español: El Poder Curativo de la Química

NCW 2024

October 20-26, 2024
Topic: Photography
Theme: Picture Perfect Chemistry
En Español: Fotografía Perfecta de la Química

Past Themes

Year Dates Topic Theme Name
2022 October 16-22 Fibers Fabulous Fibers: The Chemistry of  Fabrics
2021 October 17-23 Reaction Rates Fast or Slow ... Chemistry Makes It Go!
2020 October 18-24 Glues and Adhesives Sticking with Chemistry
2019 October 20-26 Metal Marvelous Metals
October 21-27 Outerspace Chemistry is Out of This World
2017 October 22-28 Geochemistry Chemistry Rocks!
2016 October 16-22 Forensics Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry
2015 October 18-24 Color Chemistry Colors Our World
2014 October 19-25 Candy The Sweet Side of Chemistry: Candy
2013 October 20-26 Energy Energy: Now and Forever!
October 21-27 Nanotechnology Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science!
2011 October 16-22 Chemistry and Health Chemistry: Our Health, Our Future!
2010 October 17-23 Movie Special Effects Behind the Scenes with Chemistry!
2009 October 18-24 Periodic Table Chemistry—It’s Elemental!
2008 October 19-25 Sports Chemistry  Having a Ball with Chemistry
2007 October 21-27 Careers in Chemistry The Many Faces of Chemistry
2006 October 22-28 Materials Chemistry, Home Safety Your Home—It’s All Built on Chemistry
2005 October 16-22 Chemistry in Toys The Joy of Toys
2004 October 17-23 Food and Body Chemistry Health and Wellness
2003 October 19-25 Atmospheric Chemistry and Chemical Reactions Earth’s Atmosphere and Beyond!
2002 October 20-26 Soaps and Detergents Chemistry Keeps Us Clean!
2001 November 4-10 Chemistry and Art Celebrating Chemistry and Art
2000 November 5-11 Kitchen Chemistry Get Cooking With Chemistry
1999 November 7-3 Polymer Chemistry A Global Salute To Polymers
1998 November 1-7 Pigments and Dyes World of Color
1997 November 2-8 Chemistry Is Everywhere Planet Chemistry
National Chemistry Week Logo
National Chemistry Day Parade
National Chemistry Day Parade 1987 (Washington, DC)

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Local NCW Coordinator

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