IYC Closing Ceremonies in Brussels

As IYC 2011 nears its end, the Belgian National Committee for Chemistry will host closing ceremonies in Brussels on Thursday, Dec. 1. The ceremonies will include addresses by EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science Máire Geoghegan-Quin and by IUPAC President Nicole Moreau; a presentation by Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical on “The world in 2050: our expectations from the life sciences, chemistry, industry and governments to build a better world by 2050”; responses from 2009 Chemistry Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath and 1997 Francqui Prize recipient Jean-Luc Bredas; a roundtable panel discussion; and concluding remarks by Kurt Bock, CEO of BASF. You can register to attend at the ceremonies’...

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Kids Grasp Water’s Importance
May12

Kids Grasp Water’s Importance

Posted on behalf of Charles Michael Drain, chemistry professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York As part of the celebration of the International Year of Chemistry, graduate student Jacopo Samson from Hunter College of the City University of New York and I participated in the “pH of the Planet” experiment with over 250 seventh grade students from Readington Middle School in Hunterdon County, N. J. During the last week of April, the students brought in water samples from wells, lakes, rivers, and streams. After viewing a National Geographic video about water on YouTube and discussing the properties of water, students worked in pairs to observe the turbidity and use indicators to determine the pH of 3-4 samples. Seventh grade science teachers Gerry Slattery and Chip Shepherd helped plan the experiment and worked with students when they had questions. A couple of students then tabulated the data and determined the average for each water source. Both the students and I were impressed that their averages matched well with what we determined using a calibrated pH electrode. The tabulated data is being uploaded to a database along with pH values of local water sources determined by students from every part of the planet. “I didn’t realize how many people don’t have access to clean water and how important pH is,” seventh grader Zach...

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