International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Partners for the
International Year of Chemistry 2011

See all Activities

Nobel Quilts

Activity by Karen Grant   |   added on Feb 22, 2012   |   United States Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): Richland Section of ACS

Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities created two quilts of all the Nobel Laureates in chemistry, engaging students to learn about the history of chemistry.

What better way to celebrate the spirit of IYC than to showcase the Nobel Laureates in chemistry who represent all corners of the world? A year-long contest was designed which resulted in the creation of the two chemistry quilts. 


1. Students were invited to select a year to illustrate. The best source for information on the Chemistry Nobel Laureates was

2. Students received a 9 ½ by 9 ½ inch square of unbleached muslin as their quilt square.

3. Each quilt square had to include the year and the name (or names) of the Nobel Laureates, image(s) that best represent the achievement(s) of the Nobel Laureate(s) for that year, and the student's name.

All the squares were completed by the end of the summer and the quilts assembled just in time to be displayed and judged after National Chemistry Week on Nov.18th. The judging was done by a panel of chemists from the Richland Section of the American Chemical Society. Both quilts turned out to be exceptional pieces of work and far surpassed everyone's expectations as to creativity and quality.

The first quilt has the early years, 1901 – 1959 and the second quilt has the later years, 1960 – 2010.

The students at both schools learned a great deal about the history of chemistry from this project and were very proud of their achievement.  The quilts will be auctioned to raise funds for chemical instrumentation students at both schools can use. Pictures of every square have been saved and plans are underway to create a poster of the two quilts. For details, e-mail Karen Grant at


Jan Hylden - for her assistance with design and for sewing the quilt squares together

Village Quiltworks - quilting

Topic: history of chemistry, nobel laureates Audience: students, general public
Want to submit your own activity or comment?

In order to do so you need to be part of the IYC network. Please or sign up now.

Join the IYC Network

Share |