The Hague Ethical Guidelines

Applying the Norms of the Practice of Chemistry to Support the Chemical Weapons Convention

The responsible practice of chemistry improves the quality of life of humankind and the environment. Through their many peaceful uses, such as in research and industry, chemicals play an essential role in this improvement. However, some chemicals can also be used as chemical weapons or to create them, and these weapons are among the most horrific in the world.

The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) embodies the powerful international norm against chemical weapons, requiring its States Parties “never under any circumstances: (a) To develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, or transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone; (b) To use chemical weapons; (c) To engage in any military preparations to use chemical weapons; (d) To assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.” The task of destroying the world’s declared stockpiles of chemical weapons is close to completion, but the threats that the use of chemicals as weapons pose to global security have not yet been eliminated.

As destruction of the remaining chemical weapons continues, a concerted effort is needed to prevent their re-emergence. This includes training and raising awareness among chemistry practitioners, defined as anyone trained in chemistry as well as others dealing with or handling chemicals. Their support is needed so that production and use of chemicals is accompanied by recognition of the responsibility to ensure that they are applied solely for peaceful and beneficial purposes. Fortunately, ethical standards established by the global chemistry community already provide a foundation. Building on that foundation, a group of experts from 24 countries from all regions of the world convened to define and harmonize key elements of ethical guidelines as they relate to chemical weapons based on existing codes.*

Such codes are primary ways through which the community’s ethical standards are addressed. The key elements presented in this text should be incorporated into new and existing codes in order to align with the provisions of the CWC. A code need not mention chemical weapons or the CWC to support its basic goals, and provisions may need to be tailored for particular sectors or circumstances, while still reflecting the fundamental values. Taken together, “The Hague Ethical Guidelines” provide the key elements that should be applied universally.

The Key Elements

Core element. Achievements in the field of chemistry should be used to benefit humankind and protect the environment.

Sustainability. Chemistry practitioners have a special responsibility for promoting and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Education. Formal and informal educational providers, enterprise, industry and civil society should cooperate to equip anybody working in chemistry and others with the necessary knowledge and tools to take responsibility for the benefit of humankind, the protection of the environment and to ensure relevant and meaningful engagement with the general public.

Awareness and engagement. Teachers, chemistry practitioners, and policymakers should be aware of the multiple uses of chemicals, specifically their use as chemical weapons or their precursors. They should promote the peaceful applications of chemicals and work to prevent any misuse of chemicals, scientific knowledge, tools and technologies, and any harmful or unethical developments in research and innovation. They should disseminate relevant information about national and international laws, regulations, policies and practices.

Ethics. To adequately respond to societal challenges, education, research and innovation must respect fundamental rights and apply the highest ethical standards. Ethics should be perceived as a way of ensuring high quality results in science.

Safety and Security. Chemistry practitioners should promote the beneficial applications, uses, and development of science and technology while encouraging and maintaining a strong culture of safety, health, and security.

Accountability. Chemistry practitioners have a responsibility to ensure that chemicals, equipment and facilities are protected against theft and diversion and are not used for illegal, harmful or destructive purposes. These persons should be aware of applicable laws and regulations governing the manufacture and use of chemicals, and they should report any misuse of chemicals, scientific knowledge, equipment and facilities to the relevant authorities.

Oversight. Chemistry practitioners who supervise others have the additional responsibility to ensure that chemicals, equipment and facilities are not used by those persons for illegal, harmful or destructive purposes.

Exchange of information. Chemistry practitioners should promote the exchange of scientific and technical information relating to the development and application of chemistry for peaceful purposes.

Endorsed by

Professor Muhamad Abdulkadir (Indonesia) Professor Jasim Uddin Ahmad (Bangladesh) Professor Abeer Al-Bawab (Jordan)
Professor Fernando Albericio Palomera (Spain) Professor Jan Apotheker (The Netherlands)
Professor Mahdi Balali-Mood (Islamic Republic of Iran) Professor Djafer Benachour (Algeria)
Dr Mark Cesa (United States of America) Professor Al-Nakib Chowdhury (Bangladesh) Dr Philip Coleman (South Africa)
Professor Dr Hartmut Frank (Germany) Professor David Gonzalez (Uruguay)
Professor Alastair Hay (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Mr Steven Hill (United States of America)
Professor Dr Henning Hopf (Germany)
Dr Jo Husbands (United States of America) Professor Jorge Guillermo Ibañez Cornejo (Mexico) Mr Amirhossein Imani (Islamic Republic of Iran)
Dr Nancy Jackson (United States of America) Dr Patrick John Lim (Philippines)
Professor Mohd Jamil Maah (Malaysia) Dr Detlef Maennig (Germany)
Professor Peter Mahaffy (Canada) Dr Robert Mathews (Australia)
Professor Temechegn Engida (Ethiopia)
Dr Kabrena Rodda (United States of America) Dr Ting Kueh Soon (Malaysia)
Professor Alejandra Graciela Suarez (Argentina) Professor Leiv K. Sydnes (Norway)
Mr Cheng Tang (China)
Professor Natalia P. Tarasova (Russian Federation)
Dr Christopher Timperley (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Dr Hans-Georg Weinig (Germany)
Dr Prashant Yajnik (India)
Dr Muhammad Zafar-Uz-Zaman (Pakistan) Professor Zuriati Binti Zakaria (Malaysia)
Mr Muhammad Setyabudhi Zuber (Indonesia)

*“Code” is used as a general term and includes the full range of such documents, from aspirational statements such as the Hippocratic Oath to codes that are enforceable, for example as part of a practitioner’s terms of employment.

A Forum on the Proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Chemistry Profession Act (RA 10657)

DATE: 31 July 2015 (Friday)
TIME: 8AM to 12PM: Forum for Industry and Government
1PM to 5PM: Forum for Academe
VENUE: Multi-purpose Hall, PNP Camp Crame, EDSA, Quezon City

The Chemistry Profession Act (RA 10657) was signed into law on March 27, 2015. The Board of Chemistry, in cooperation with the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, is inviting chemistry-related institutions, such as chemical laboratories, universities, and commercial entities, to attend this Forum on the proposed IRR for RA 10657.

Registration, comments and suggestions should be emailed by July 28 to: integratedchemists@gmail.com.
Registration fee for each half-day session: PHP 300 (to be paid on-site)
(Note: snacks and handouts are included; lunch is not included)

Attachments
IRR (Draft 8)
Code of Ethics (Version 6)
Comment Form

In Pursuit of Knowledge: The Life of Dr. Gilbert Yu

By Charlene Tiausas

Professor Yu speaks in analogies. This is one of the more frequent observations discussed among his students. For the past few months, his lectures often included examples like noodles, door knobs, clays, among other things, to complement a complex concept. He immediately jumps to examples rather than dwell on generic definition. He emphasizes—more than anything—the need for the students to recognize the step-by-step story behind a certain phenomenon and not simply “settle” for the robotic motions of a plug-in-and-play formula. These certain quirks make even the simplest lectures effective. In an interview, Professor Yu implicitly reveals that this style of teaching has been a product of the many experiences he had with teaching, and also by being a student for the majority of his life.

Gilbert Yu

Born in 1978, Yu spent the majority of his pre-college years studying in Uno High School, a famous Filipino-Chinese school based in Manila.

Part of the pioneering batch, he took up BS Management of Applied Chemistry in Ateneo de Manila University. He particularly notes that the rest of his time not spent studying was dedicated to tutoring students as a part-time job. He remembers tutoring students in Chemistry and in Mathematics. While that took most of his time, he grew grateful for these experiences as these very much helped him gain the skills that would later on persuade him to teach after college.

Upon reaching the end of his undergraduate studies in 2000, Yu, while having taken up Management, decided to focus more on studying the sciences. His want of knowledge later on paved way for more years spent on education.

Needing more units to qualify in taking the board examinations, Yu had to take up a Master’s degree in Chemistry. Yu took his Master’s degree in Ateneo while taking a part-time job teaching Chemistry undergraduate students. This led him to graduate later than expected as he tried to juggle his teaching job, laboratory and thesis revision work. He conducted a research involving a more industrial take on Chemistry about a pigment additive in paints. He received his Master’s degree from Ateneo in 2005.

Deeming his Master’s degree still not enough yet to satiate his “raw” attitude towards chemistry, he travelled to Ontario, Canada and took another graduate study in McMaster University. This time, he studied chemistry in a more medically-focused context. His research focused on a possibility of making cross-linked silicone gels using a click chemistry reaction. He finished his Master’s degree in 2008, then eventually returned to the Philippines for a short time to teach in Ateneo once again.

By this time, Yu decided that “there was no going back.” Having practiced Chemistry for so long, he finally felt ready to take his PhD. With the help of people who believed in his capability to pursue a Doctorate degree and his determined mindset, Yu went off to Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan in 2009. There, he explored in his research the role of Intermolecular Forces or Physical bonds in reactions of chemical compounds.

Yu finished his studies within the span of three years. He decided to stay in Japan to continue his laboratory work and accomplish some post-doctorate studies. On March 2014, Yu returned to the Philippines, arriving just in time to teach Chemistry undergraduate students for summer classes.

With most of his life dedicated to studying Chemistry, Yu expects that he would most likely stay in the Philippines for quite some time after experiencing “travel fatigue.” He tells that he had studied so much that he thought that it was time to focus on other parts of life. While he is still foreseeing possible research collaborations in the future, Yu is currently enjoying teaching and spending time re-acquainting himself with hobbies he lost track of during his studies. He plans on putting his Management degree skills to use once again and dreams of starting up a business. While plans of the future are at hand, he says that he has found solace in teaching as it seemed almost innate in him after taking part in it for so long. He liked getting ideas across to his students as much as they give him possible ideas for research and new takes on Chemistry concepts.

It is true, he imparts, that science encounters failure 99% of the time as many factors come into play. He cites his experiences in Chemistry as a continuous strife for that 1% chance of success, which can only be achieved if one learns from their own failures. His persistence over gaining appreciation of Chemistry gave him insights about life that can never be unlearned. In teaching students, he hopes to spark a similar reaction—one that will encourage further recognition and interest in Chemistry in the younger generations.

5th National Children’s On-the-Spot Chemistry Poster Making Competition Winners

By Edward Santos

In line with the objective of raising awareness in chemistry at a young age, the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies recently concluded its 5th National Children’s On-the-Spot Chemistry Poster Making Competition. This year, 12 universities from around the country hosted the elimination round of the contest. The following universities functioned as host schools:

  1. Ateneo de Davao University
  2. Ateneo de Manila University
  3. Central Luzon State University
  4. Central Philippine University
  5. De La Salle University
  6. Mindanao State University- IIT
  7. Silliman University
  8. University of the Philippines- Diliman
  9. University of the Philippines- Los Baños
  10. University of San Carlos
  11. University of Santo Tomas
  12. Xavier University

The contest is open to students from Grade 4-7 from public and private schools. They were given 2 hours and 30 minutes to create a poster having the theme “Chemistry and the ASEAN.” Every host school selected three (3) local winners, each winning PHP 2,000.00 and these winners automatically qualified for the national award. The board of judges for the national award consisted of Armand Guidote, Ph.D. (President, PFCS), Nick Tan (ICP, St. Scholastica’s College), Karen Santiago, Ph.D. (UST), and Danne Halzey Mantilla (DLS-College of St. Benilde). Vince Andrei Reyes (Holy Cross College) won first place, Angelica Torniado (M. Agoncillo Elementary School) won second place, while Gyla Jane Nismal (Sto. Domingo Elementary School) won third place.

Vince Andrei Reyes (Holy Cross College) FIRST PLACE

Vince Andrei Reyes
(Holy Cross College)
FIRST PLACE

Angelica Torniado (M. Agoncillo Elementary School) SECOND PLACE

Angelica Torniado
(M. Agoncillo Elementary School)
SECOND PLACE

Gyla Jane Nismal (Sto. Domingo Elementary School) THIRD PLACE

Gyla Jane Nismal
(Sto. Domingo Elementary School)
THIRD PLACE

The awarding of the national winners will take place on April 15-17, 2015 at Ateneo de Davao University, during the 30th Philippine Chemistry Congress. Vince Andrei will be receiving PHP 7,000.00 cash prize, and round trip airfare for him and his coach to Davao together with accommodation. The 2nd and 3rd place winners will be receiving PHP 5,000.00 and PHP 3,000.00, respectively.

The 5th installment of the poster making competition was headed by Glenn Alea (DLSU), in partnership with C&E Publishing, Inc., CHEMREZ Technologies, Shell, and Boysen.

PACT Chemistry Week Celebration

By Jose M. Andaya

The Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. or PACT, in cooperation with the Adamson University, celebrated Chemistry Week through a Seminar-Workshop entitled “Brightening-Up the Future of Chemistry Education” on February 21, 2015 at the Adamson University. The celebration was attended by 53 participants from Luzon to Visayas.

PACT Chemistry Week Seminar-Workshop: Brightening-Up the Future of Chemistry Education

During the morning session, Dr. Marilou G. Nicolas of UP Manila, talked about “Global Education and ASEAN Integration 2015;” Dr. Ernesto J. Del Rosario of UPLB discussed the “Applications of Digital Image Analysis in Chemistry, “ and Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III of UST discussed “Light and Chemical Information” .

In the afternoon, the participants were made to choose to attend any of the following workshops:

  1. Creative Chemistry: Light and Heat
  2. Creative Chemistry: Light Emission (both workshops (1) and (2) were given by teachers from the University of Santo Tomas)
  3. Different Shades of Chemistry by the Philippine Science High School Main Campus
  4. Colorful Electrolysis by the University of the Philippines Manila.

Most participants were able to attend two of the four workshops, with all enjoying and learning as indicated in the evaluation forms they submitted afterwards. They agreed that this year’s Chemistry Week celebration surpassed their expectations.

Before the day ended, the new set of PACT officers for the school year 2014 – 2015 took their oath of office. The oath-taking was administered by Dr. Armando M. Guidote Jr., Pressident of the PFCS or the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies. These are the new PACT officers:

Dr. Myrna S. Rodriguez of UPLB – President
Dr. Jose M. Andaya of PSHSMC – Executive Vice President
Dr. Fideliz S. Tuy of SBCM – Vice President for External Affairs
Ma. Theresa B. Bonus of JRU – Vice President for Internal Affairs
Jasper Perez of OLFU – Asst. VP Internal
Digna T. Bal of MSHS – Executive Secretary
Mary Jane Apuada of PLM and Lorna D. Tamboong of MTC – Asst. Secretaries
Annabelle J. Monzon of SBCA – Treasurer
Florencia N. Male of RIS – Asst. Treasurer
Aleli V. Lozano of CEU – Auditor
Garry Galvez of THS – PRO
Jonathan P. Derez of AVVHS and Emil L. Escalante of LPUC – Junior PROs
Emmanuel V. Garcia of DLSU, Dr. Voltaire G. Organo of UPM, Rebecca S. De Borja of MC, Ruel Avila of PNU – Directors
Dr. Luciana V. Ilao of UPM, Ma. Cristina D. Padolina, Dr. Betty Lontoc of CEU and Nora Cordero – Consultants.

Young Scientists’ Forum 2015

Young Scientists’ Forum
Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas – Division of Inorganic Chemistry and Allied Fields (KKP DICAF) and UP Institute of Chemistry (UPIC)

Dr. Hiyas Junio
Dr. Hiyas Junio has a PhD in Medicinal Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. Her work involves metabolite profiling using LCMS,and synergy activity of secondary plant metabolites. While in graduate school, she joined the UNCG Photography Club and made a collection of photos of all the flowers growing on campus. She considers Dr. Mansukh Wani,discoverer of taxol, and Henri Cartier Bresson, a world renowned photographer, as her inspiration for doing research and photography, respectively. After a brief postdoc stint at Indiana University, she returned to UP in 2014.

Dr. Eiza Yu Roberto
Dr. Eizadora Yu Roberto obtained her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree in 2006, from the University of Maryland, at BC. Her research interests include proteomics and bioprospecting microorganisms for enzymes relevant to health and industry. She worked as a postdoc fellow at the Sandia National Labs, California, tailoring fungi based biofuels to meet the needs of current, advanced combustion engines.

Marlon Conato
Dr. Marlon Conato received his PhD in Chemistry,in 2012 from the University of Houston. He specializes in solid state chemistry and materials science, currently manages the Polymer Lab that provides services such as thermal!analysis (TGA, DSC, TMA), and materials property testing (UTM, ellipsometer, rheometer) to academic research and industrial samples. His research interests include preparation and characterization of crystalline microporous materials such as coordination polymers and zeolites and their applications in catalysis, gas storage, and separation.

Dr. Allan Yago
Dr. Allan C. Yago has a PhD in Chemistry obtained in 2014, from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. His research interests include preparation of chemical sensors for specific target molecules (pesticides, food contaminants, pollutants), electroactive conducting polymers (nanoparticle stabilizers, anticorrosion coating), as well as polymer composites for specific applications. He leads several government funded research projects such as pesticide sensor development for DOST/PCIEERD,conducting polymer composites for UPNSRI, and anticorrosion coatings for UPOVCRD.

Brightening the Future of Chemistry Education

Brightening the Future of Chemistry Education

Ozanam Bldg, Adamson University, Manila
21 February 2015

The Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. (PACT) cordially invites you to participate in the celebration of 2015 Chemistry Week to be held on 21 February 2015 at the Physics Hall, 3F Ozanam Building, Adamson University, San Marcelino Manila. The seminar theme is “Brightening the Future of Chemistry Education”, in keeping with the themes of the International Year of Light (IYL), which is also celebrated this year. This seminar will feature discussions on light and chemistry.

For registration and more information, click here.

National Chemistry Students’ Congress (NCSC) 2015

National Students’ Chemistry Congress 2015

Henry Sy Bldg, De La Salle University Manila
College of Home Economics Bldg, University of the Philippines Diliman
21-22 February 2015

PACSiklaban (UPD, 22 Feb)

PACSiklaban is an annual inter-collegiate chemistry quiz bee. It is designed to test the skills and knowledge of all participants in Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry.

Symposium (DLSU, 21 Feb)

The Symposium consists of talks about the role of chemistry in different fields. There would be four speakers from different affiliations. Each speaker will talk about chemistry and the life of chemists in their respective field. After each talk, a 15-minute open forum will follow wherein students are allowed to discuss and interact with the speakers and their fellow students.

Poster Presentation (DLSU, 21 Feb)

The poster presentation will be a venue for students to present the abstract and overview of their respective unpublished undergrad studies. The top five posters will then be orally presented to the audience on the second day.

For registration, registration fees and more information, click here.

Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III and IUPAC’s Committee on Chemistry Education, 2008-2012

Lida Schoen
Education Consultant Amsterdam, Netherlands, former member CCE

Mei-Hung Chiu
National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, chair CCE

Abstract

For many years the authors collaborated with Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III. This paper relates hightlights of our collaboration in the Philippines and on the world, mainly on the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) and the Flying Chemists Program FCP projects, supported by the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

Introduction

The Committee on Chemical Education is one of the standing committees of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is tasked to coordinate the educational interests of the IUPAC bodies with activities throughout the world. Among the activities of the Committee on Chemical Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) are the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) and the Flying Chemists Program (FCP).

The Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC) [1] is a project that has trained teachers across the globe to help students communicate the benefits of chemistry and enhance the public understanding of chemistry. A typical YAC event encompasses two to three days of teacher workshops, followed by a half-day public event where students – the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry – share their enthusiasm and interest with the public. It was a collaboration between the Science Across the World (SAW) Programme [2] and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

The Flying Chemists Program (FCP) [3] is an initiative that aims to provide emerging countries with the means to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The project provides the visited country with the expertise needed to strengthen chemistry education and to assist in its development.

Though the IUPAC does not have a National Adhering Organization from the Philippines, we were able to conduct activities in this country. The proposal submitted to IUPAC by Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III paved the way for us to collaborate with the local efforts to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry in the Philippines.

2008: Philippines
Flying Chemists Program: Improving Chemical Education

Prof. Sevilla organized the 3rd FCP as a conference on ‘Improving Chemical Education’ in Manila, with additional support from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the University of Santo Tomas. The conference was designed to introduce innovative instruction for tertiary level chemistry teachers.

Over 300 tertiary level chemistry teachers from all over the country participated in the conference. The total number of the audience was far beyond expectation and video conferencing was arranged to accommodate all participants [4].

Fig 1: From left: Fortunato Sevilla III, Peter Mahaffy, Jorge Ibáñez, Peter Atkins, Mei-Hung Chiu.

Fig 1: From left: Fortunato Sevilla III, Peter Mahaffy, Jorge Ibáñez, Peter Atkins, Mei-Hung Chiu.

There were five keynote speakers and three workshops during the 2-day conference. Peter Atkins (Lincoln College, Oxford, UK) presented marvellous pictures to show how pictorial representations can help students learn complex concepts in stoichiochemistry. Peter Mahaffy (King’s University College, Edmonton, Canada) gave a vivid talk on visualization impact on learning introductory chemistry at the undergraduate program in his university and also held a workshop on visualizing chemistry. Jorge Ibáñez (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico) showed the audience how to use microscale laboratory experiments to achieve instructional effectiveness. He reduced the amount of the chemicals for green chemistry in his talk and workshop. Fortunato presented how to make good use of low cost microscale experiments and provided a hands-on low-cost workshop. Mei-Hung Chiu reported on the effectiveness of an integrated laboratory program for students at the National Taiwan Normal University via the use of a valuable and easy-to-apply quantitative assessment in the organic chemistry laboratory.

The conference went successfully with the affirmative feedback from the participants. They highly appreciated Prof. Sevilla’s effort on organizing the conference to promote chemistry education in the Philippines.

2010: Philippines
25th Philippine Chemistry Congress: Creating Green Solutions through Chemistry

Our participation in the 25th Philippine Chemistry Congress allowed us an opportunity to interact with Filipino chemists and chemistry teachers during their annual gathering. We were among the overseas speakers who were invited to Subic Bay to present papers to the Philippine chemistry community. We were hosted by the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, which was led by Prof. Myrna Rodriguez as president.

Fig 2. Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III and Prof. Myrna Rodriguez.

Fig 2. Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III and Prof. Myrna Rodriguez.

We presented our keynotes during the Symposium on Chemical Education. After lunch Mei-Hung started with ‘Learning and Teaching with a Model based Approach to Chemistry Education’. The keynote was followed by three 20- minute presentations, with one outstanding about the use of portfolios in secondary education. After a long interval for networking and attending the poster session, Lida presented ‘Chemistry around the World, Educating Secondary School Students as Global Citizens’, also followed by a most interesting 20 minute presentation about a camera used as a colorimeter.

After another full conference day we enjoyed our dinner with ocean view with interesting discussions with Fortunato and Maribel (Nonato, president of the Philippine Chemical Society) about a career for women. The situation looks like the same all over the world!

We were requested to give a short presentation during the closing ceremony: Mei-Hung about the International Conference on Chemical Education (ICCE 21) which was to be held in Taipei on August 2010, and Lida about the coming YAC course/event in Manila.

The bus took us back to Manila. On our way we enjoyed a huge farewell ice cream!

Fig 3: All teachers and organisers after the official opening session.

Fig 3: All teachers and organisers after the official opening session.

Fig 4: Our huge farewell ice cream.

Fig 4: Our huge farewell ice cream.

2010: Philippines
Young Ambassadors for Chemistry, in Manila

Prof. Sevilla took the initiative to host YAC in the Philippines, through the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers (PACT), chaired by Prof. Myrna Rodrigues. PACT organised and facilitated the YAC course at the Asian-Pacific College, FUSE-LCT (Foundation for the Upgrading of the Standard of Education – Learning Center for Teachers) and the event in the Manila ShoeMart shopping mall.
40 teachers and 60 students from 15 public and secondary schools from Metro Manila and nearby provinces and from as far as Davao City, participated in the YAC program.

Dr. Norietta Tansio of the PACT officially opened the course. After the break (with wonderful food, being common practice during all coming breaks) we introduced the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry project. After lunch Prof. Sevilla presented a short welcome speech. The teachers received a wonderful course book with the YAC program, background information and a nice metal YAC button.

Fig 5: Fig 5: Group work: count your taste buds.

Fig 5: Fig 5: Group work: count your taste buds.

Fig 6: Mei-Hung and Fortunato judge the outcomes of the cosmetic line practical work.

Fig 6: Mei-Hung and Fortunato judge the outcomes of the cosmetic line practical work.

The next morning in the FUSE building we carried out practical (group) work, that generated a great deal of hilarity and the presentation of the creative statistical group results. After lunch the teachers started the practical YAC work: design and produce a innovative cosmetic line with 4 products: perfume (for men), hair gel, shampoo and lotion. The very well organized workshop resulted in great products and again a lot of fun during the 30 seconds TV commercials of the different groups to sell the cosmetics.

During our last morning in the FUSE building, we divided coordination roles for the YAC event with the students. As the organizers already prepared so much, we could quickly finish.

The main YAC activity was held in the ShoeMart Shopping Mall (SM) Manila. SM Manila was a real great location for a YAC event: many shoppers around, a climatized open space and all facilities available.

All students, teachers and organisers wore a YAC T-shirt with the YAC logo and a YAC button. We were clearly audible: Nori and 3 disc jockeys produced a lot of ‘noise’ and also clearly visible: branding with YAC balloons and spotlights on the stage from the higher floors around the open space. Everything went smoothly with students, teachers, chemicals and stationary! The chemicals coordinators did their jobs, while the roving reporters coordinators sent the students out to question the public about their views on chemistry and learning chemistry. They wandered around in the shopping mall, asking the public 3 questions.

Fig 7: Aerial view on the YAC event showing all students, teachers and organizers.

Fig 7: Aerial view on the YAC event showing all students, teachers and organizers.

Fig 8: ShoeMart (SM) provided us with real disc jockeys and real spotlights.

Fig 8: ShoeMart (SM) provided us with real disc jockeys and real spotlights.

Next step was to take the public to their work stations, show them their work and ask three more questions. After swapping roles, the students ran out of questionnaires completely after handing out 100 copies. Mei-Hung took all questionnaires back to Taiwan to analyse answers from the public and the students and also of the participating teachers (filled in at the end of the course).

Fig 9: Roving reporters interview a cleaner about chemistry and the event, while a fellow student in the group produces shampoo.

Fig 9: Roving reporters interview a cleaner about chemistry and the event, while a fellow student in the group produces shampoo.

We asked the participating teachers (N=34), students (N=52) and the public (N=98) to fill in our questionnaires on the quality of the workshops, hands-on activities and their image of chemistry.

The majority of the teachers (98%) enjoyed the workshops very much and expressed that learning incurred through the workshop. The results from the students were similar. Their responses revealed the design of the cosmetic experiments were appealing and educational. These views were also evident from the responses of the public: positive feedback on the chemical experiments and high value about the role of chemistry in society.

As for their images of what chemists are doing, we asked all participants ‘Which of the following pictures shows what you think about chemistry best?’ The results of their responses are shown below (5 points for best and 1 point for least). We found that all 3 groups considered the 2nd picture to be the best representation of chemistry, followed by the 3rd picture. This outcome was considered to be the positive image of chemistry with appropriate manipulations of equipment with peers, unlike the negative images, such as boring in picture 1, incorrect operation of chemicals in picture 4 or a negative image (explosion) in picture 5.

We were very honoured to have National Scientist and 2010 UNESCO-L’Oréal Laureate for Women in Science Prof. Lourdes Cruz with us! Together with Dr. Imelda Servillon (Science Supervisor of the Division of City Schools-Manila, Department of Education) and Prof. Cristina Binag (University of Santo Tomas) she agreed to form our distinguished jury. The jury judged the quality of the product lines and the public presentations of the student groups.

Fig 10: A student group offers Dr Cruz its new cosmetics line.

Fig 10: A student group offers Dr Cruz its new cosmetics line.

Fig 11: Jury with (from left): Dr. Imelda Servillon, Dr. Lourdes Cruz and Prof. Cristina Binag.

Fig 11: Jury with (from left): Dr. Imelda Servillon, Dr. Lourdes Cruz and Prof. Cristina Binag.

At the end of the event all involved received a certificate of attendance with the signatures of IUPAC’s president Nicole Moreau and SAW’s director Marianne Cutler. This was the end of another glorious day with students and teachers promoting chemistry during our 10th international Young Ambassadors for Chemistry event!

2011: [Global] International Year of Chemistry: The Global Stamp Competition

Headed by Lida Schoen (IUPAC, CCE, Netherlands) the Global Stamp Competition , competition [5,6] was launched in Paris on January 2011 during the IYC 2011 opening ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters. The theme of the competition was ‘Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise’ (CCE), entries were required to highlight the impact of chemistry on a country’s culture and everyday life [7]. Designs were judged for their artistic value, how well they showed the relationship between chemistry and the national/regional culture and the quality of the description.

The main challenge for the organizer, apart from obtaining funding (IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education and GlaxoSmithKline), was the difficulty of making students / teachers / professors aware of this competition in a timely manner. Publishing on different sites (IYC 2011, IUPAC, Science Across the World [8]) was not effective. Apparently students and teachers don’t pay attention to these media. Next interviews and publications in journals of chemical societies and chemistry teachers associations were tried with little more effect. But the most successful were personal global contacts like with Prof. Sevilla! He turned the competition into a class activity for freshmen. Apart from many quality submissions this generated a lot of valuable peer review.

The competition benefited greatly from social media: the site students used to upload their submissions allowed for sharing comments and reviews. In so doing, the competition itself became a social and cultural enterprise. In fact, among the criteria used by the judges were the number of hits and number and quality of the peer reviews on the site.

After 6 months and 247 submissions from 18 countries in 3 age categories, an international jury with Prof. Morton Hoffman (CCE NR USA, ACS), Dr. Rachel Mamlok-Naaman (CCE NR Israel), Dr. Lynn Hogue (ACS), Datuk Dr. Soon Ting Kueh (CCE NR Malaysia, IKM [9], FACS), Dr. Anthony Smith (EC2E2N [10]), Dr. Harry Kelly (GlaxoSmithKline) and Prof. Daniel Rabinovich (USA, stamp expert) announced the winners of the International Year of Chemistry Global Stamp Competition.

  • 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
  • Runners Up in the 15–18 age group: Stavrou Maria, Spyrou Chrisia, and Stylianou Chrysovalento (Cyprus); Luqman Safwan Che Mohd Fauzi (Malaysia); Kyle Stratford and Max Willinger (USA)
  • Undergraduates: Peter Yousef M. Rubio (18) from Santo Tomas University, Manila, Philippines

Fig 12: Submitted stamps broken down by country [11].

Fig 12: Submitted stamps broken down by country [11].

Peter Yousef Rubio’s winning design was presented during the Coconut Week Celebration of the Philippine Coconut Authority-Department of Agriculture in Manila, Philippines and he was invited as guest of honour during the Annual Conference of the Philippine Chemical Society.

Fig 13: Winner undergraduates: Peter Yousef (Santo Tomas, Manila), Philippines “My stamp is about the benefits of coconut and its contributions to science and industry. The coconut tree is considered to be the tree of life because of its many benefits to people and the environment. An important breakthrough in the field of medicine is the discovery that lauric acid, found in the coconut fruit, can fight the HIV virus. Bio-diesel from coconut trees is also another great discovery which could replace fossil fuels and help the environment.”

Fig 13: Winner undergraduates: Peter Yousef (Santo Tomas, Manila), Philippines “My stamp is about the benefits of coconut and its contributions to science and industry. The coconut tree is considered to be the tree of life because of its many benefits to people and the environment. An important breakthrough in the field of medicine is the discovery that lauric acid, found in the coconut fruit, can fight the HIV virus. Bio-diesel from coconut trees is also another great discovery which could replace fossil fuels and help the environment.”

Due to a generous gift of GlaxoSmithKline the winners received $500 and the runners up $250 (for the group). A selection of the best designs was on display during the IYC Closing Ceremony in Brussels in December 2011.

Fig 14: Lida in the booth in Brussels with Peter Yousef Rubio's winning Philippine stamp.

Fig 14: Lida in the booth in Brussels with Peter Yousef Rubio’s winning Philippine stamp.

2012: Central America (Panama and Mexico) YAC and FCP in Panama City

At the Congreso Latinoamericano de Quimica (CLAQ 2012) held in Cancún, Mexico in October 2012, several IUPAC activities related to projects of the Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE) were organized. These included the Flying Chemists Program (FCP, Mei-Hung) and the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (YAC, Lida) project. Taking advantage of the geographical proximity, the activities were first showcased in Panama [12].

Panama City
In October 2012 the Ministry of Education of Panama and the Universidad de Panama hosted Lida, Mei Hung and Fortunato (Flying Chemists task group member). Lida organized with help of Mei-Hung and Fortunato a YAC workshop with 25 participants and a public event in front of the Ministry of Education offices with over 100 student participants. Local organizers included Marisa Talavera of the Ministry of Education and Abdiel Aponte and his group from the Universidad de Panama.

Fig 15: Official opening of the YAC project. From left: Prof. Abdiel Aponte (Universidad de Panama), Dr. Marisa Talavera (Ministry of Education), Dr. Carlos Ramos (director University of panama, Vice-Minister of Educatino Dr. Mirna de Crespo, Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III.

Fig 15: Official opening of the YAC project. From left: Prof. Abdiel Aponte (Universidad de Panama), Dr. Marisa Talavera (Ministry of Education), Dr. Carlos Ramos (director University of panama, Vice-Minister of Educatino Dr. Mirna de Crespo, Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III.

Fig 16: All Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (afternoon) with the YAC team in front of the Ministry of Education.

Fig 16: All Young Ambassadors for Chemistry (afternoon) with the YAC team in front of the Ministry of Education.

As the organisers in the Ministry did not exactly know who was who and having not enough chairs behind the table, ‘poor’ Fortunato, as the only CCE male, had to present YAC.

The course and the event went very well with receptive teachers and enthusiastic creative students! Very special was the tropical storm rain during the lunch break that emptied loads of rain on our (covered) outside venue! During the morning and afternoon event we could never have managed without all dedicated trained teachers, despite a few language problems.

For the Flying Chemists Program we presented 3 workshops to high school and college teachers:

  • Mei-Hung: Models and Modelling
  • After a short introduction all students produced a C20 (pentagons), quite a few of them even managed to finish a C60 (pentagons and hexagons).
  • Mei-Hung: Alternative Ways of Assessment
  • Lida: Communicating Chemistry, Teaching as the Most Difficult Job in the World Explained.
  • Fortunato: Microscale Analytical Chemistry Experiments Based on Low-Cost Instrumentation

Cancún, Mexico
In connection with CLAQ 2012 [13], the Sociedad Quimica de Mexico and the Federacion Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Quimica hosted and facilitated the YAC and FCP workshops. Peter Mahaffy (King’s University College, Edmonton, Canada), CCE past chair) joined the CCE group.

In the morning the FCP program offered 3 hands-on workshops:

  • Alternative Diagnostic Assessment in Chemistry Education, Mei-Hung
  • Using the Rich Context of Climate Science to Teach Chemistry, Peter Mahaffy
  • Microscale Analytical Chemistry Experiments Based on Low-Cost Instrumentation, Fortunato

The workshops were attended by high school and college teachers from throughout Latin America (at an average of 20 participants in each). Kazuyuki Tatsumi (IUPAC president), Cecilia Anaya (SQM president) and Héctor Cárdenas (SQM general secretary) welcomed participants at the beginning of the workshops. The local organizer Jorge Ibáñez (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City and SQM) had much assistance from Carlos Ruis Alonso (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and SQM).

During the afternoon the group participated in the Symposium on Chemistry Education, which about 100 persons attended. Organized by Jorge Ibáñez, the symposium included the following 30 min. presentations:

  • Alternative Diagnostic Assessment in Chemistry Education, Mei-Hung
  • Using the Rich Context of Climate Science to Teach Chemistry, Peter Mahaffy
  • Communicating Chemistry, the importance of language, Lida
  • Analytical Chemistry Experiments in Microscale, Fortunato
  • Teaching Environmental Chemistry through Experiments, Jorge Ibáñez
Fig 17: From left: Lida Schoen, Kazuyuki Tatsumi, Peter Mahaffy, Jorge Ibáñez, Fortunato Sevilla III and Mei Hung Chiu.

Fig 17: From left: Lida Schoen, Kazuyuki Tatsumi, Peter Mahaffy, Jorge Ibáñez, Fortunato Sevilla III and Mei Hung Chiu.

The same day, the group participated in the YAC event at which several hundred people took part in the outreach activities. The YAC event took place in front of the town hall Benito Juarez of Cancún, a spacious square.

Fig 18: Prof. Sevilla during the FCP workshop ‘Analytical Chemistry Experiments in Microscale.'

Fig 18: Prof. Sevilla during the FCP workshop ‘Analytical Chemistry Experiments in Microscale.’

On the days prior to the public event, the usual YAC training workshop was held. Héctor Cárdenas kicked off the YAC training workshop, which, instead of training teachers, was focused on chemistry and medical students. No one knew how many students to expect for the event, nor from where they would come.

Unstructured groups of students descended upon the square, filled up with a huge Periodical System around iron frames, that we used as tables for the experiments. Our 8 volunteers did what they could to contain what appeared to be a chaotic situation, but which was simply a popular event with a lot of enthusiastic students and members of the public. Visitors to the event included Cecilia Anaya (president SQM), Nicole Moreau (past president IUPAC), Kazuyuki Tatsumi (president IUPAC), Javier García-Martínez (AM CCE, IUPAC Bureau) and Miranda Wu (president ACS). A local policeman estimated there had been 1000 visitors throughout the day on the square.

Conclusion

Within the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education it has been a privilege and a great pleasure to collaborate with Prof. Fortunato Sevilla III. We wish him many more healthy years to continue his beneficial and successful work in the Philippines and elsewhere on the Globe.

References

  1. CCE project proposal ‘Research-based evaluation of the Young Ambassadors for Chemistry project’: https://www.iupac.org/nc/home/projects/project-db/project-details.html?tx_wfqbe_pi1%5Bproject_nr%5D=2007-005-2-050 (last accessed October 2013)
  2. Science Across the World website: https://www.scienceacross.org (last accessed October 2013)
  3. CCE project proposal ‘FCP Philippines’: https://www.iupac.org/nc/home/projects/project-db/project-details.html?tx_wfqbe_pi1%5bproject_nr%5d=2007-018-1-050 (last accessed October 2013)
  4. Fortunato B. Sevilla III, Report Improving Chemical Education in the Philippines, Chem. Int. 30, 4 (July- Aug 2008): https://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/2008/3004/cc2_170408.html (last accessed October 2013)
  5. Editor Chem. Int., Chemistry International, 33, 6 (Nov-Dec. 2011) The Global Stamp Competition: https://old.iupac.org/publications/ci/2011/3306/8_stamp_competition.html (last accessed October 2013)
  6. Lida Schoen, ConfChem Conference on A Virtual Colloquium to Sustain and Celebrate IYC 2011 Initiatives in Global Chemical Education: Global Stamp Competition, J. Chem. Educ., Publication Date (Web): October 8, 2013 (Communication). https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed300878w?prevSearch=%255BTitle%253A%2BGlobal%2BStamp%2BCompetition%255D&searchHistoryKey (last accessed October 2013)
  7. IYC 2011 Global Stamp Competition project idea: https://www.chemistry2011.org/participate/activities/show?id=110 (last accessed October 2013)
  8. Science Across the World Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/108632725863761/ (last accessed October 2013)
  9. IKM: Institut Kimia Malaysia.
  10. EC2E2N: European Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Education Network
  11. Countries with 1 or 2 submissions: Bulgaria, Colombia, Cyprus, France, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Ukraine
  12. Editor Chem. Int., CCE Projects in Latin America (May-June 2013), Chem. Int. 2013, 34, 5: https://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/2013/3503/pp1_CCE_projects.html (last accessed October 2013)
  13. CLAQ: Latin American Chemistry Congress