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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter March 7, 2017

Chemistry Education

  • Soon Ting-Kueh
From the journal Chemistry International

The 24th IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education (ICCE) 2016 was successfully organised by the Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM), under IUPAC auspices, at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 15–20 August 2016. At the same time and while celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) Sarawak Branch held the International Symposium on Pure and Applied Chemistry (ISPAC), in conjunction with ICCE 2016 and with the support of the Foundation of Interaction of Science and Technology (FIST), Japan.

The ICCE is a major international chemistry education conference held biennially all over the world. It usually attracts a large number of chemistry and science educators, practitioners and researchers, and education decision and policy makers, including heads of education and research institutions from around the globe. ICCE-2016 ranked among one of the largest ICCEs, with 456 registered delegates including 260 foreign delegates representing 38 countries. Of course, the Malaysian delegation was the biggest, at 196, followed by Japan (109), India (15), Taiwan (14), China (13), and Australia (10). 50 teachers from Sarawak schools were provided with complimentary registration under the Tan Sri Law Hieng Foundation and the Lee Foundation. IKM also supported 14 teachers from Peninsular Malaysia with a grant of RM 1,500 each to enable them to participate in ICCE 2016.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr.) Haji Adenan Bin Haji Satem,officiated the Opening Ceremony of ICCE and ISPAC 2016 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Kuching, Sarawak on Tuesday, August 16, 2016


One of the highlights of ICCE & ISPAC 2016 was the presence of the 2010 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Ei-ichi Negishi, from Purdue University, USA. Professor Negishi delivered two plenary lectures, one at ICCE 2016 and the other at ISPAC 2016.

Another highlight was the Global Launch of the new Electronic Interactive IUPAC Periodic Table of the Elements and Isotopes by Peter Mahaffy.

The third was the presentation of the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE)’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Chemistry Education to Kazuko Ogino of Tohoku University, Japan.

  1. ICCE’s technical program included a total of 141 presentations, comprising 6 Plenary Lectures, 13 Keynote Lectures, and 96 oral and 26 poster presentations. The 6 Plenary Lectures were as follows:

  2. Pursuit of My Dreams for Half-a-Century, by Ei-ichi Negishi (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2010, Purdue University, USA);

  3. Sustainability Through Attainability, by Peter Atkins (CCE inaugural chair, Oxford University, UK);

  4. Faculty and Student Goals for Undergraduate Laboratory: The Conflicts Between Hands-on Skills, Critical Thinking and Efficacy, by Marcy Towns (Purdue University, USA);

  5. Models of Life Long Learning: Professional Development of Teachers, by Rachel Mamlok-Naaman (The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel);

  6. Globalization of Chemistry Education: Comparison of K-12 Chemistry Standards across the World, by Mei-Hung Chiu (National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan); and

  7. Motivation and the Undergraduate Chemistry Student, by Robert (Bob) Bucat (The University of Western Australia, Australia)

ICCE 2016 also included activities for teachers and students from Kuching and the surrounding areas. These were a IUPAC Young Ambassador for Chemistry (YAC) event for 40 teachers and 60 students; Microscale Laboratory Training for schools involving 20 teachers and 30 students; and Microscale Laboratory Training for 20 undergraduates and 20 lecturers at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS).

Social & Cultural Events

Close to 200 delegates attended the ICCE 2016 Welcome Reception at Hilton Kuching on Monday, 15 August 2016. The delegates were treated to sumptuous local cuisines and pastries with a free flow of cordials and beer. There were lots of renewed acquaintances and networking among the delegates. This was truly a happy and joyous social occasion.

 Cultural Dance Performance at Banquet

Cultural Dance Performance at Banquet

The ICCE 2016 Conference Banquet on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 was a grand occasion. 400 delegates, invited guests, and VIPs attended. The Chief Minister of Sarawak was represented by YB Prof. Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian, the Minister of Local Government Sarawak. YB Prof. Datuk Dr. Sim gave a Welcome Address to invite all delegates to sample the delicious Malaysian food and local dishes. He also welcomed them to visit and tour various interesting places and tourist attractions in Sarawak.

 Prof. Dr. Sim Kui Hian officiating the Opening Ceremony From left, Peter Atkins, Marck Cesa, Ong Eng Long, Sim Kui Hian, Ei-ichi Negishi, Soon Ting Kueh, and Alvin Chai.

Prof. Dr. Sim Kui Hian officiating the Opening Ceremony From left, Peter Atkins, Marck Cesa, Ong Eng Long, Sim Kui Hian, Ei-ichi Negishi, Soon Ting Kueh, and Alvin Chai.

At the Banquet, IKM Sarawak Branch also presented the 30th Anniversary Distinguished Service Award to Chan Woon Peng, the Founding Chair of the Branch, who has contributed tremendously to the development of the Branch and to chemistry in Sarawak.

Besides the wonderful foods, the delegates were entertained by a performance of Sarawak cultural dances by a group of dancers from Kumpulan Kesenian JKKN Sarawak. Kyoko Mori from Japan entertained with a performance on the flute, and then Ei-ichi Negishi serenaded the attendees with three songs accompanied by Miss Mori on the flute. The Chair of ICCE 2016 also entertained the guests with two songs, followed by two songs from the Taiwanese delegation, led by Mei-Hung Chiu. The Japanese delegation, led by Tamotsu Takahashi, followed with the song “Sukiyaki”. Other performers included Puan Sri Law Hieng Ding nee Ngui Soon Leng, Lau Seng from UNIMAS, and the German delegation. Zuriati Zakaria from IKM also rendered a hot Tina Turner number, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”. It was a fun-filled evening ofmerry-making that the delegates truly enjoyed.

About 240 delegates participated in the ICCE 2016 Discovery and Cultural Tour on Friday, 19 August 2016. A first group visited the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in the morning and the Sarawak Cultural Village in the afternoon. A second group visited the same sites in the reverse order.

It was really exciting that both groups witnessed the feeding of the orang-utan. In the morning, the delegates managed to come face-to-face with six orang-utans, while the afternoon group saw three and had a close encounter with a male named Anuar. Then came the rain and many of us saw how Anuar used the large leaves to cover himself from the rain. They are almost human.

 Mustafa Sozbilir presenting souvenir to CCE Past Chair, Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu at Closing of ICCE 2016

Mustafa Sozbilir presenting souvenir to CCE Past Chair, Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu at Closing of ICCE 2016

The tour of the Sarawak Cultural Village was equally entertaining. They saw the dwellings of seven local tribes of Sarawak and witnessed their ways of life and their cultures. There was a performance of cultural dances from the various tribes.


On behalf of the Organisers, IKM would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr.) Haji Adenan Bin Haji Satem, for officiating the Opening Ceremony of ICCE 2016 and for the strong support of the Sarawak Government. We would also like to thank the Sarawak Convention Bureau and the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau for their support in the bidding and management of ICCE 2016. To the other major sponsors, including Tan Sri Law Hieng Ding Foundation, Lee Foundation, Chemsain Konsultant Sdn Bhd, KISM Sdn Bhd, and Foundation for the Interaction of Science and Technology Japan, we would like to convey our utmost sincere gratitude and appreciation for their strong support.

As Chair of the National Organising Committee (NOC) of ICCE & ISPAC 2016, I am personally indebted to the members of NOC who have worked so hard to put everything together to make a successful ICCE & ISPAC 2016. To members of the International Advisory Committee and the National Advisory Board, we are really gratefulfor advice and technical input.

The success of ICCE & ISPAC 2016 is largely due to the delegates, including the Session Chairpersons, the Plenary Speakers, oral and poster presenters, and the other participants. Last but not least, I am very much indebted to ICCE & ISPAC 2016 Secretariat staff, headed by Ms. Ong Bee Kwan, Dr. Alvin Chai Lian Kuet and members of the IKM Sarawak Branch Committee, and Associate Prof Dr. Sim Siong Fong and her UNIMAS team.

The 25th ICCE will be organized in Australia in 2018 by The University of Sydney and chaired by Dr. Sigi Schmith. See you there!

Online erschienen: 2017-3-7
Erschienen im Druck: 2017-1-1

©2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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