Project Details Young Ambassadors for Chemistry in Cape Town

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
25 May 2022
End Date: 


The Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) at Cape Town will be a one-day event on Saturday, July 23, 2022. The Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC) will organize a science festival in the form of an Open Day for the general public. The theme of the Open Day is Celebrating Chemistry and all activities (shows, workshops, demonstrations, and a talk) will focus on this theme. Some of these activities will be offered by the YAC team and Merck as the sponsor, the rest by the staff of the CTSC. The main objective is to initiate a lasting project at the Cape Town Science Centre on the relevance of chemistry to the grand challenges of sustainability.


To increase public interest in chemistry, the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) projects have been carried out from 2004 to 2014 using a ‘Train the Trainers’ approach with teachers and students in 17 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, with partial IUPAC/CCE funding and much external funding from local organizations, Chemical Societies, Ministries of Education, and industry (see former projects 2003-055-1-050 and 2007-005-2-050 for write-up and references). Because of constraints connected with the availability of students in Cape Town in the second half of July (school holidays), an open day is planned at the Cape Town Science Centre on 23rd July 2022, the day after the ICCE 2022 conference. The YAC team will do demonstrations of two experiments highlighting sustainability in the context of energy (Grätzel cell and Al-air battery), and a few ‘fun’ experiments such as magic writing, chemiluminescence, elephant toothpaste, etc., and the IUPAC President will give a talk on the relevance of Chemistry to sustainability. This programme will be supplemented by the outreach activities. The YAC activities will become part of the portfolio of activities the science centre will use in the future. This way the YAC event will be a starting point for activities linked to IUPAC in the future.

The Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC) has an excellent record of presenting science festivals that are well attended by the general public. Entry fees are waived on such Open days, which enable families from marginalized communities to attend with their children, thereby introducing them to the wonders of science, in this case, Chemistry. This has the potential to broaden participation in Chemistry by attracting specifically black students and girls to the discipline. In line with the theme, Celebrating Chemistry, the YAC team, the IUPAC president and the CTSC will highlight the relevance of Chemistry to everyday life and specifically to sustainable development.

Attendance is expected to be 400 – 800 members of the general public of whom ca. 60% will be 18 years or younger.


Page last updated 25 May 2022