Chemists Celebrate Earth Day activities focus on chemistry’s role in feeding the world

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2017 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) will mark Earth Day on April 22 by showcasing chemistry’s role in sustaining agriculture's ability to serve the needs of a growing population. Through the Society’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Day (CCED) event, children will participate in hands-on activities centered on the theme “Chemistry Helps Feed the World.” 

Geared toward elementary and middle school students, the CCED activities and demonstrations highlight the important work that chemists and chemical engineers do every day. A full listing of activities and educational resources is available at CCED is an environmental awareness campaign held annually by ACS on Earth Day.

This year, CCED coincides with the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the country and the world. ACS, which supports the march, will participate in teach-ins associated with the Earth Day Network and the March for Science by conducting hands-on chemistry experiments at the ACS Kids Zone on the National Mall.

The activities, based loosely on the 2017 CCED theme, to be conducted at the ACS Kids Zone include:

  • Starch Search: Discover which foods contain starch and which do not. We will test for the molecule in foods with the same detector pens used to distinguish counterfeit dollar bills, which contain starch, from real money.
  • Iron for Breakfast: Is your cereal magnetic? Let’s see! Using strong magnets, we will pull iron, an essential nutrient, from breakfast cereals. Kids and parents alike are amazed at the amounts of this element that can be found in delicious food!
  • UV Detecting Beads and UV Blockers: Using UV detecting beads and UV blockers, come explore which products help protect our skin, eyes and medicine from being damaged by UV light.
  • Magic Nuddles: Using biodegradable building blocks made from cornstarch, create fun shapes out of Magic Nuddles and learn about polymers.

Children will also get a giveaway bag with a printed issue of Celebrating Chemistry, ACS’ biannual children’s publication with fun hands-on activities and articles, as well as other goodies. For additional information about the ACS Kids Zone, visit

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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