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Chemistry International

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Volume 33, Issue 2


Chemistry Education

Published Online: 2011-03-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2011.33.2.28

Chemistry Education

by Mei-Hung Chiu

The IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) plays an influential and leading role in promoting chemistry education around the world. Since 1969, CCE has held the International Conference on Chemical Education (ICCE) every two years in a different country. The 21st ICCE, held 8–13 August 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan, was focused on “Chemistry Education and Sustainability in the Global Age.”

This theme was chosen to encourage participants to reflect on global environmental and ethical issues, to pose and answer hard questions, and to suggest possible solutions for the problems we are all facing in the real world. To achieve these goals, the Organizing Committee organized 10 plenary lecturers, five workshops, three symposia, one presidential panel discussion, one chemical demonstration, 145 oral presentations, 74 posters, and a variety of other activities. The distribution of the conference presentations among the 11 topics was as follows (with the number of presentations in parentheses): Environmental and Sustainable Development Education (17); Promoting the Globalization in Chemical Education (4); Public Understanding of Chemistry (15); E-learning and Innovative Instruction (24); Learning, Understanding, and Conceptual Change in Chemistry (31); Teaching Chemistry: Grades K-12 (37); Teaching Chemistry: College and Lifelong Education (34); Curriculum, Evaluation, and Assessment of Chemistry (36); Microscale Lab Chemistry (17); Promoting Female Students’ Interest and Self-Confidence in Learning Science (3); and International Year of Chemistry (1).

The 10 plenary lecturers and their topics were as follows:

  • Yuan-Tseh Lee: “Scientists in a Globalized World”

  • Richard N. Zare: “The Power of a Failed Lecture Demonstration”

  • Akira Fujishima: “How to Encourage Young People”

  • John K. Gilbert: “The Place of the Informal Sector in the Development and Exercise of Chemical Literacy”

  • Jorge G. Ibáñez: “Teaching Introductory Environmental Chemistry through Microscale Experiments”

  • Joe Krajcik: “Supporting Learners in Developing Integrated Understandings of Core Ideas of Chemistry”

  • Terry Collins: “Green Chemistry: On the Responsibility of Chemists to Advance Science with Human Health and the Environment Clearly in Mind”

  • David Treagust: “The Development and Use of Diagnostic Instruments for Assessing Students’ Chemistry Knowledge and Understanding”

  • Ilka Parchmann: “Competencies in Chemistry—A Critical Reflection”

  • Lei Wang: “Exploring Internet-Based Training Model for Cross-Provincial Large-Scale Chemistry Teachers’ Preparation for the New Curriculum in Mainland China—A Significant Approach of Developing High School Teachers’ PCK”

The conference also featured a presidential panel that discussed chemical education, sustainability in the global age, and the purpose of, and plans for, the International Year of Chemistry. Chaired by CCE chair Peter Mahaffy, the panel included Yuan-Tseh Lee (president of the International Council for Science), Choon H. Do (president of the Korea Chemistry Society), Ilka Parchmann (chair of the Division of Chemical Education of EuCheMs), Joseph S. Francisco (president of the American Chemical Society), Maribel G. Nonato (president of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies), Ting-Kueh Soon (president of the Institut Kimia Malaysia), and Wen-Ent Pan (president of the Chemical Society Located in Taipei). In addition, two outstanding scholars, Nobel Prize winner Yuan-Tseh Lee and Richard Zare, held a forum on chemical education and sustainability.

Five workshops were organized during the conference:

  • “Chemical Demonstration: Educational Experiments to Enhance Students’ Realistic Understanding,” Masahiro Kamata and Takukya Miyauch

  • “Low-Cost Instrumentation for Microscale Chemistry Experiments,” Fortunato B. Sevilla III

  • “Microscale Environmental Chemistry Workshop,” Jorge G. Ibáñez

  • “Young Ambassadors for Chemistry,” Lida Schoen and Erica Steenberg

  • “Chemistry, Geometry, and Art: Constructing Arbitrary Fullerenes with Beads,” Bih-Yaw Jin

The more-than 100 participants who attended the workshops and engaged in hands-on activities were very appreciative of the workshop speakers. Lida Schoen even held the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) Event at Taipei City Hall to get the public involved in the activities, which involved cosmetics created by students. One especially noteworthy chemical demonstration was presented by George T. Shiau, who is well known in Taiwan and regularly appears on the Disney Channel where he presents magic shows with chemical demonstrations.

Aside from academic activities, the conference offered participants a welcome party with a quartet performance; a conference banquet, featuring a traditional instrument performance and puppet show at the famous Grand Hotel in Taipei City; a calligraphy performance at the opening ceremony; a conference tour to the National Yehliu Geopark and to the Center for Traditional Arts in Yi-Lan County.

The total number of participants at the 21st ICCE was 333 from 36 countries. The largest groups of participants came from Taiwan (170), Korea (25), USA (18), Japan (15), China (10), Germany (9), and Malaysia (8).

In order to acknowledge individuals who have contributed to CCE in various ways over the years, the Organizing Committee initiated a set of awards for distinguished chemistry educators. The awardees in 2010 were Peter W. Atkins of the University of Oxford, UK, and Lida Schoen, an educational consultant in the Netherlands. The IUPAC Travel Scholarship Awardees were Huanhuan Chen of Nanjing Normal University, China; Antonius Indarto of Institut Teknologi Bandung in Indonesia; Mashita Abdullah of University Sains Malaysia in Malaysia; and Maryam Sulaiman of the University Sains Malaysia in Malaysia. The Chemical Education Network of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies also offered a Travel Scholarship Award to Ronaldo Reyes who teaches at Tabaco National High School in the Philippines.

Mei-Hung Chiu <mhchiu@ntnu.edu.tw> (photo to the left, speaking at the YAC event) is professor at National Taiwan Normal University. She is a member of IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education and its subcommittee on Chemistry Education for development. She was the organizer of the 21st ICCE.

Page last modified 21 April 2011.

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About the article

Published Online: 2011-03-01

Published in Print: 2011-03-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International -- Newsmagazine for IUPAC, Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 28–29, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2011.33.2.28.

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