A Case of
with an ACS High
By eriC stewArt
IF YOU’RE READING THIS, IT’S VERY LIKELY THAT you’re a member or a faculty advisor of an ACS student chapter at a college or university. But it’s far less likely that you were a member of an ACS ChemClub when you were in high school — primarily
because these groups are relatively new (even though they’re growing fast). They offer enriching experiences in chemistry for the high
school students involved, and they also represent a great opportunity
for your chapter to expand its outreach to local schools, serve as
ambassadors for your institution, and have fun in the process.
What is a ChemClub?
ACS launched ChemClubs as a pilot program in 2005 to gauge
the level of interest among high schools for such organizations and
to determine which types of materials and activities would be most
In some ways, a ChemClub is similar to an ACS student chapter
at a college or university. The program makes a variety of resources
available to the teachers and students involved. In the case of
ChemClubs, the resources tend to be structured activities organized
around monthly or quarterly themes. For example, as this article
was being written in November 2009, the theme for the month was
“The Chemistry of Fall,” and resources included activities and experiments investigating the chemistry involved in changing leaf colors.
Other themes are built around holidays, giving them a fun, timely
connection for the high school students.