International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Sweden’s Best IYC Activity

Videos about Gore-Tex, love and the greenhouse effect awarded as Sweden’s best IYC activity

Feb 10, 2012

Where does the color in our jeans come from? How can Gore-Tex be waterproof and breathe at the same time? What is the greenhouse effect? What does love have to do with molecules? These, and many other questions, have been addressed in the Chemistry Calendar, a series of 12 short videos produced during the International Year of Chemistry 2011. The project was recently awarded as Sweden’s most innovative and successful activity during IYC2011.

The Chemistry Calendar is a joint project between Molecular Frontiers, an international outreach organization, Chalmers University of Technology, University of Gothenburg, science center Universeum and Untamed Science, a small movie company specializing in fun and educational science videos. Together, they have come up with videos, one for each month of the year, that show how chemistry plays an important role in everyday life. At the same time, the videos point to the future by highlighting ongoing research.

We combine scientific content with humor, adventure and action. Our goal is to inspire the audience to want to learn more, says Per Thorén of Molecular Frontiers, who initiated the project. The videos appeal to kids in all ages – but are also appreciated by many adults!

The monthly themes, spanning from fashion to sports and sustainable development, have been common to all IYC activities in Sweden. Each video is approximately 5 minutes long, which makes it easy to use the videos in various contexts, such as during a lesson at school. The videos are published on YouTube (www.youtube.com/chemistrycalendar), from where they can be embedded on websites and blogs. A Swedish version of each video has also been made.

In conjunction with each video, teaching material has been generated, available for download on Molecular Frontiers website “MoleClues” (www.moleclues.org). The teaching material contains background facts and descriptions of simple experiments of varying difficulty level, that can be carried out in a classroom. On MoleClues there are also games, news and interviews that relate to the content in each video.

This activity was featured before, in March 2011! .