National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week Photo Credit: Clipart.com
Science NetLinks invites teachers and others to celebrate the 31t anniversary of National Chemistry Week October 21–27. The goal of National Chemistry Week is to hold chemistry-related events and activities for the public, particularly elementary and secondary school children, in order to make a positive change in their perception of chemistry. The American Chemical Society has announced that 2018's theme, which focuses on the chemistry of space, is "Chemistry Is Out of This World!"

Science NetLinks offers these chemistry resources for teachers who want to encourage their students to recognize the breadth of activities that fall within the boundaries of chemistry.
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  • Water 3: Melting and Freezing

    Water 3: Melting and Freezing

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson students will investigate how melting and freezing impact three everyday items: water, chocolate, and margarine.
  • Color Burst

    Color Burst

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students gain experience asking questions and conducting inquiry by exploring the separation of colors in water and other solvents.
  • Hot and Cold Colors

    Hot and Cold Colors

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will explore the effect of heating and cooling on the dispersal of food coloring in water.
  • Salt: Up Close and Personal

    Salt: Up Close and Personal

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will view salt under varied magnifications so they can understand that materials may be composed of parts that are too small to be seen without magnification.
  • The Acid Test

    The Acid Test

    6-8  |  Hands-On
    In this activity, students will prepare a test solution whose color changes when an acid or a base is added.
  • A Matter of State

    A Matter of State

    6-8  |  Hands-On
    This lesson will help students understand that particle movement changes as a substance changes from one phase to another phase.
  • It's a Crash Test, Dummy

    It's a Crash Test, Dummy

    In this lesson, students research air bags and use that information to design and test a version of an air bag.
  • The Chemistry of Hair Care

    The Chemistry of Hair Care

    9-12  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students learn that the chemistry of hair care, including the role of pH, helps in the development of better hair-care products.
  • Inventions of Necessity: Synthetic Rubber

    Inventions of Necessity: Synthetic Rubber

    In this lesson, students explore the relationship between societal needs and technological development by examining the history and making of synthetic rubber.


  • A Question of Temperature

    A Question of Temperature

    3-8  |  Website
    This activity shows how temperature plays an important role in melting and cooling chocolate.
  • Careers in Sports and Exercise Science

    Careers in Sports and Exercise Science

    6-12  |  Website
    This resource, created by Science Careers to coincide with the Athens Olympics in 2004, highlights a variety of careers related to exercise and sports science.
  • Two Forks Idaho

    Two Forks Idaho

    6-12  |  Interactive
    This is an interactive science mystery story in which students assume the role of a medical investigator on vacation in Idaho.
  • Oil Refining: A Closer Look

    Oil Refining: A Closer Look

    9-12  |  Video
    This resource contains a video and an interactive explaining how petroleum was formed and how it is processed.
  • Periodic Table of the Elements App

    Periodic Table of the Elements App

    9-12  |  Interactive
    This app is an electronic version of the Periodic Table of the Elements. It was developed by EMD (now Merck) Chemicals.
  • Mix-n-Match


    6-8  |  Interactive
    With this online exhibit by the Exploratorium, you will learn that with just three colors of light (red, blue, and green) you can make over 16 million colors!
  • Science at the Olympics

    Science at the Olympics

    9-12  |  Website
    This spread from Science magazine discusses questions about the intersection of scientific and technological innovation and the Olympics games.
  • About Rainbows

    About Rainbows

    6-12  |  Website
    This tutorial helps to clarify what rainbows are and how they are made.

Science Updates

  • Cell Phone Air Sensors

    Cell Phone Air Sensors

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update looks at how installing chemical sensors in cell phones could create a worldwide system for identifying dangerous airborne toxins.
  • Cold Car Start

    Cold Car Start

    6-12  |  Audio
    In places where it gets below freezing in the wintertime, weather reports always include both the air temperature and the wind chill—that is, how cold it feels with the wind blowing. Wind makes the temperature feel colder because it carries heat away from our bodies. In this Science Update, you'll hear how the wind affects car engines in a similar way.
  • Dryer Sheets

    Dryer Sheets

    6-12  |  Audio
    Listen to this Science Update to learn how positively charged particles are attracted to negatively charged particles in your laundry.
  • Fearless Aphids

    Fearless Aphids

    6-11  |  Audio
    Researchers have tried breeding plants that produce a " false alarm" pheromone that will warn aphids to avoid them.
  • Hair Color Forensics

    Hair Color Forensics

    6-12  |  Audio
    DNA evidence may accurately predict an unknown suspect's hair color.
  • Drying Dishes

    Drying Dishes

    6-12  |  Audio
    Learn how how a quirk of dish drying shows off a fundamental idea behind the chemistry of water.
  • Ultra-White Beetle

    Ultra-White Beetle

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, studying a ghostly beetle could help engineers create brilliantly white materials.
  • Skunk Removal

    Skunk Removal

    6-12  |  Audio
    The spray of a skunk is not only incredibly stinky—it's also notoriously difficult to get rid of. An old folk remedy is to bathe in tomato juice, but tests show that only masks the odor. In this Science Update, you'll hear about a better way to neutralize the stink.
  • Pizza Cheese

    Pizza Cheese

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, find out why when you heat up leftover slices of pizza, the flavor often isn't quite the same.
  • Revised Periodic Table

    Revised Periodic Table

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, hear about the first significant revision in over half a century to the Periodic Table of the Elements.
  • Thinnest Material

    Thinnest Material

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, learn about the world's thinnest material was created using nanotechnology.
  • Pushing Atoms

    Pushing Atoms

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, learn how scientists have calculated the force it takes to move one atom.


  • Nanomaterials

    9-12  |  Video
    In this segment of Material Marvels, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez demonstrates how materials behave strangely when they are nanosize—about 1/100,000 the thickness of your hair.
  • Graphene

    9-12  |  Video
    Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science at Yale, discusses how a layer of carbon that is one atom thick, called graphene, will revolutionize our lives in this episode of Material Marvels.

Other Resources

Science Is Fun
Grade Band: K–12
Description: This site includes a section on Experiments You Can Do at Home, as well as other resources relevant to the K–12 teacher who wants to make chemistry exciting to his or her students.

Grade Band: 6–8
Description: Chem4Kids makes chemistry fun. Learn about matter, elements, and where you'll find them in the world around you. Also learn about atoms, math, chemistry tricks, and more. The site is well organized, which helps it achieve its goal of demystifying chemistry.

National Chemistry Week
Grade Band: K–12
Description: The American Chemical Society offers information about this annual, weeklong celebration of chemistry. The site includes resources for students and educators.

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