Project Details Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 September 2010
End Date:
31 December 2011


The project asks students 12-17 year old to design a national stamp that reflects chemical developments important to their lives, in order to foster better understanding and appreciation of chemistry as a human and cultural enterprise. They must present their stamps with an explanation (in English) electronically on a platform, that allows peer review.


The aims of the project are as follows:

  • To encourage students (2 categories: age 12-14 and age 15-17) to design a stamp (idea and procedures by Upd8, a project of the British Association of Science Education teachers (ASE), that represents national and/or local chemical developments (everyday products, biographies local heroes, conservation cultural heritage) and to document them on the platform, using e.g. text, but also audio, video and flashblogs (guidelines will be provided).
  • To raise students’ curiosity for other cultures.
  • To establish an electronic publication and communication platform (
  • To solve language problems by cooperation of Science and Language teachers.
  • To involve Art teachers to help the students to ‘style’ the students’ designs.
  • To develop a questionnaire in order to support students’ assessment (peer review).
  • To start the competition at the IYC 2011 opening ceremony in Paris, January 27-28, 2011.
  • To select and demonstrate best practice examples at the end of IYC during the IYC 2011 closing ceremony in Brussels, December 1, 2011.
  • To disseminate best practice examples into all participating countries through the web, the partner networks and through CCE and its regional networks.

During a planning meeting in Cologne, Germany in Sep/Oct 2010, we will design the activities in detail and discuss mechanisms for obtaining more funding for implementation, as well as obtaining the funding for the competition winners to travel to the IYC closing ceremony in Brussels, in cooperation with the IYC Management Committee and its subcommittees.

We already started a European pilot project with EU ‘Lifelong Learning: School Partnerships’ funding (September 2010 – August 2012) and will incorporate the results of the Cologne planning meeting. A preparatory meeting with teachers from schools from 8 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom) was held in January 2010 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The outcome of the project will provide materials and assessments for teachers to improve intercultural communication and appreciation of chemistry as a cultural heritage. Furthermore it aims at a close collaboration between teachers of different disciplines (science, language and art) that can bridge the gap between the different cultures.
A side benefit is that participating countries will improve their communication networks, which can be used beyond this project.


> follow this IYC activity on the IYC2011 website

Dec 2011 – After six months and 247 submissions from 18 countries, the winners of the International Year of Chemistry Global Stamp Competition have been announced:

  • 12-14 age group: Vasilena Vasileva (14) from SOU Hristo Botev, Gorna Malina, Bulgaria
  • 15-18 age group: Muzhafar Hassan Ismail (17) from MARA Junior Science College, Taiping, Malaysia
  • Undergraduates: Peter Yousef M. Rubio (18) from Santo Tomas University, Manila, Philippine

See details and artwork in Chem Int. Nov-Dec 2011.

See also pictures album of the official Closing Ceremony of the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry in Brussels on December 1, 2011 where Lida presented many of the stamps designed for this project.

Jan 2012 – the task group has produced one final report – pdf

Project completed