U.S. House passes resolution recognizing National Chemistry Week, Oct. 16-22


The U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 17 passed a resolution, H.Res.457, recognizing the week of Oct. 16-22 as National Chemistry Week (NCW). Through the resolution, the House recognized "that the important contributions of chemical scientists and engineers to technological progress and the health of many industries have created new jobs, boosted economic growth, and improved the nation's health and standard of living."

The resolution was sponsored by Reps. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), the two Ph.D. scientists currently serving in the House of Representatives. Reps. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), John Olver (D-Mass.) and 12 other members cosponsored the bill, including House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) and Ranking Democratic Member Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.).

American Chemical Society President William F. Carroll, Jr. said, "The American Chemical Society thanks our friends, Representatives Rush Holt and Vern Ehlers and their cosponsors, for their work to recognize the week of October 16, 2005, as National Chemistry Week. They have helped to highlight the excitement of science to children throughout the country. We are pleased to work regularly with them to strengthen science education and research as a foundation for a better future."

National Chemistry Week, an annual community-based educational event sponsored by the ACS, features activities and events organized by local ACS members, businesses and schools. These events give kids the opportunity to learn about chemistry through fun, hands-on activities and demonstrations. This year's theme, "The Joy of Toys," is designed to capture kids' imaginations by showing them something familiar and fun (e.g. Silly Putty or an Etch-a-Sketch) and encouraging them to ask "why?" and "how?"

Carroll is visiting 15 cities in 10 days in what the Society is calling the "Extreme National Chemistry Week Tour." During the tour, Carroll is meeting with students across the country at schools, science fairs and other community events to highlight the importance of science education and remind students that chemistry is essential to modern life.

Rep. Holt said, "Toys spark imagination, imagination fuels innovation. It is in the best interest of our Nation to create both a curiosity and a desire to understand our world and to fuel a technologically and scientifically literate, critical thinking population to carry us forward in the 21st century."

Rep. Ehlers added, "At a time when our workforce is in great need of increased scientific and mathematic literacy, it is important to stimulate children's interest in the chemical sciences so that they will consider careers in these fields and potentially discover the innovations of the future. What better way to stimulate interest than with something fun like National Chemistry Week and 'The Joy of Toys'?"

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information on National Chemistry Week, visit the ACS Web site: www.chemistry.org.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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