National Chemistry Week in full swing at BYU


This week the Central Utah Section of the American Chemical Society is sponsoring National Chemistry Week, and BYU was fully on board.

This year’s theme is “Nanotechnology: The Smallest BIG Idea in Science,” and activities include something “nano” for all ages and levels of scientific interest.

National Chemistry Week, which is celebrated every year on the third week of October is designed to further public awareness of chemistry’s contributions to everyday life. The activities throughout the week are designed to unite ACS sections, businesses, schools and the community.

As a part of Chemistry Week, BYU chemistry majors are making and serving nitrogen ice cream for $1 a cup every day this week in the Benson Building. Erin Stansel, a chemistry major from San Diego is one of those involved in National Chemistry Week.

“Chemistry week is all about getting students excited about the field of chemistry. We want people to get involved,” Stansel said, as she dished up ice cream for BYU students Monday afternoon.

Chemical magic shows, hosted by BYU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, are also being held everyday this week until Friday, in W111 and W112 Benson Building. The magic shows are free, but tickets are still required because seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved at

More students have been getting involved with the activities every day. Naomi Romriell, a chemistry major from Lindon was excited about the activities taking place and the attention it brings to the chemistry and science fields.

“National Chemistry Week is awesome,” Romriell said. “It really gets awareness out about what science can do for people and why science is fun. It’s especially great in the chemistry department because it brings a sense of unity. It has been a fun week so far with magic shows and liquid nitrogen ice cream and even some awesome lecture series. It’s fun for everyone.”

There will also be a poster session Oct. 25–26, in the Benson Building lobby that presents the research currently being done by BYU chemistry students and members of ACS. A reception will be held Friday Oct. 26, at 4 p.m. in the same place, where visitors can ask researchers questions and learn more about nanotechnology.

As the community and more students get involved, the excitement spreads. Jessica Ramsey, a chemistry major from Rock Springs, Wyo., talked about the importance of National Chemistry Week.

“I think it is important because everything around us has to do with chemistry,” Ramsey said. “All matter is made up of atoms and undergoes reactions. Understanding how it works is exciting. National chem week helps get people off the beaten path excited about the subject.”

National Chemistry Week will conclude with a hands-on chemistry workshop for kids of all ages on Saturday Oct. 27  from 1 to 3 p.m. in the children’s section of the Provo City Library. Participants can come and go as they want. Everyone is invited to attend and be a chemist for the afternoon.

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