“Let’s Engage in Chemistry” school outreach program

wins silver trophy at the EUPRIO 2023 Awards competition
Euprio awards 2 prize

Petra Karnetová and Jana Sommerová from University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, (UCT Prague), Czechia brought home the silver trophy at the EURPRIO 2023 conference (Vienna, Austria) in the best communication projects category. The European Association of communication professionals in Higher Education (EUPRIO) has over 700 members from 21 countries. At this year’s conference, hosted by the Vienna University of Technology (27 to 30 August), several topics were discussed, including the use of AI for science communications and the threat of fake news.

The award-winning “Let’s Engage in Chemistry” project is one of UCT Prague’s most important activities aimed at primary and secondary school children. The project presents and explains modern chemistry is a comprehensible and engaging manner, showcasing new trends, and—most importantly—practical applications without which our everyday lives could function. The presentations in schools not only inspire children to study chemistry, but they show modern chemical disciplines as being relevant, thus emphasizing chemistry’s importance, even to those whose life paths will not lead them to pursue science, technology and math (STEM) careers.

The project was created in 2005 as a reaction to negative media coverage after the Czech floods in 2002. It gradually grew into a compilation of different scenarios presented in schools by trained lecturers working in pairs from UCT Prague. During the 2022/23 academic year, we visited 150 schools with our road show, teaching 1,006 lessons and entertaining more than 20,000 children.

2 prize awards 2023


Presentation scenarios represent the range of research activities conducted at UCT Prague and are full of entertaining (but at the same time, educational) experiments. They are prepared by experienced instructors. The first two scenarios, for example, were created by Dr. Petr Holzhauser (head of the Department of Chemical Education and Humanities at UCT Prague and chair of the Czech Chemistry Olympiad committee), and Prof. Petr Slavíček (head of UCT Prague’s Department of Physical Chemistry and recipient of a Czech Neuron prize for young and promising scientists).

Participation in “Let’s Engage in Chemistry” is provided to schools at no charge and is fully funded by UCT Prague together with significant support from commercial sector partners such as Spolchemie and Synthomer. ORLEN Unipetrol is the most important of these partners, having provided funding since the outreach project started.

Read more on our website.

Petra Karnetová

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