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National Chemistry Week 2021

Fast or Slow … Chemistry Makes It Go

October 17 – 23 is National Chemistry Week and is sponsored by the American Chemical Society's Cleveland SectionThis year's theme is "Fast or Slow ... Chemistry Makes It Go." Kids in grades 2 – 6 are invited to join the American Chemical Society (ACS) for an online challenge. Be prepared to get in and get messy.

how it works

The program is a contest consistsing of two chemistry demonstrations shown to the students via a video and three fun, age-appropriate chemistry experiments that will be performed by the students at home. Each participant will answer a set of questions, submitted via a form posted on this website, after the demonstration and after each of the experiments.

The contest is open to students in grades 2-6; adult involvement is considered essential. Registration must be completed and submitted by September 19, 2021. Participation is limited to the first 200 entrants.

Many of the necessary materials for the experiments can be found in the home, but hard-to-find materials will be provided for free in kits via the library's branches during the week of October 10 -16. One kit will only supply one student. Students will perform the experiments at home during National Chemistry Week, October 17 - 23, 2021, and immediately thereafter. 

Instructions for participating in national chemistry week

Chemistry can be fun!  We intend to show you how and perhaps even reward you for participating.  After watching the two chemistry demonstrations and performing the hands-on experiments, answer questions about all five and complete a Matching Table at the end. Please do the following:

  1. Download and print a copy of the NCW Program Text.
  2. View the NCW Program Video.
  3. Immediately look at Section 2 of the NCW Program Text which will tell you what materials you need to gather up around your home before you begin. All other materials for the three Experiments have been provided in the kit you received from the Library. No materials are necessary for the two demonstrations except for a stopwatch.
  4. The NCW Program Text will guide you through the Program/Contest. When finished, submit your answers to the five questions and the Matching Table via this form. These submissions will complete your entry into our contest.

CONTest rules

  • The second to sixth grade students are the primary chemists in this contest, but adult assistance and supervision is absolutely required. This is especially true in Program Step 4 (Experiment 3) in which boiling water will be used.
  • All contest submissions must be submitted between October 17 and 31, 2021 only. Submissions before October 17, 2021, or after October 31, 2021, will not be accepted.
  • Decisions of the judges in determining the winners in each grade group are final.
  • Winners will be notified by mail as soon as possible after November 7, 2021. Each of the three winners in each grade will receive a letter of congratulations, a certificate suitable for framing and their check in the mail.
  • Names of the winners in each grade group will be posted on the Library’s website at the same URL as soon as possible.

Good luck and have fun!


Prizes will be awarded to the top three submissions in each grade. 
  • 1st Place - $100 
  • 2nd Place - $75 
  • 3rd Place - $50