International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Young Ambassadors for Chemistry

Idea by Lida Schoen   |   added on Nov 30, 2009 06:59PM Discussion Discussion
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The YAC project intends to train teachers to help students communicate the benefits of chemistry. One aim of a YAC event is to popularize and raise public awareness of chemistry by encouraging young students to act as ambassadors for chemistry. If you know of a similar program, I would love to learn about it.

The Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YACs) project facilitates the flow of ideas between chemistry and society using young people as mediators. YAC utilizes a “train the trainers” approach so that teachers can help students communicate the benefits of chemistry, and in doing so increase public interest in chemistry. YAC is a partnership between the Public Understanding of Chemistry subcommittee of IUPAC’s Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) and the Science Across the World (SAW) Network.

Our next stop will be in Ethiopia (February 2011) to 'honour' FASC (Federation of African Societies of Chemistry), that initiated UNESCO IYC 2011, with Dr. Temechegn Engida (Ethiopia) as the president of FASC!

A typical YAC event encompasses four days of workshops and preparation with educators, followed by a one-day public event where students—the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry—share their enthusiasm and interest with passers-by. The initial workshops for teacher trainers and teachers are based upon two topics: “Chemistry in Our Lives” and “Talking about Genetics around the World,” for which SAW has extensive documentation and training experience. Later we exchanged 'Genetics' for "Climate Change". The trained teachers carry out SAW projects, including communicating with partner classrooms in other countries and preparing students for interactions with their communities. In carrying out the SAW projects, students research aspects of chemistry in the local context. The culminating public event, usually held in a public square or a busy mall, is where the young students become Young Ambassadors for Chemistry and present their findings and practical work to the public.

We published about many successful events:
Philippines (Manila, 2010): report
(Ipoh, 2010): report
Cyprus (Nicosia, 2009): project report in Chemistry International (CI vol.32, no.4, July-August 2010)
(Réduit, 2008): project report in Chemistry International
South Africa (Grahamstown, 2007): project report in Chemistry International (CI vol.29, no.4, July-August  2007)
Korea (Gwangju, 2006): project report in Chemistry International (CI vol.28, no.5, September-October 2006)
Russia (Krasnojarsk, 2005): project report in Chemistry International (CI vol.28, no.2, March-April 2006)
Taiwan (Taipei, 2004, 2005, 2007): project report in Chemistry International (CI vol.27, no.2, March-April 2005)

We will visit Ethiopia during the International Year of Chemistry, the Ethiopian Chemical Society with the Federation of African Chemical Societies bringing a resolution to UNESCO! Other African countries we might visit are Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya.

Topic: game, hands-on activities, show, science fair Audience: teachers, students, general public


Albert Ahatov
Apr 16, 2010 08:26AM

wow, great! it is also available in our country

Christian Gabriel
May 01, 2010 08:09AM

This is a very nice idea!! I hope we can have it here also in the Philippines.

Thais Pinheiro
Mar 21, 2011 06:08AM

Well, we need it here in Brazil. Unfortunately my country has a little development in this kind of activities.. It's sad for who cares a lot about science, because we have few tools to construct our better-knowing.

Fabienne Meyers
Nov 11, 2011 02:53PM

On 29 July 2011, 20 high school and middle school science teachers gathered for a workshop to learn how to implement the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry program in their classrooms [more] ...

Terry Oggel
Sep 13, 2012 05:58AM

The trained teachers carry out SAW projects, including communicating with partner classrooms [jocuri 3d]...

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