If you’re like me, you’ve spent National Chemistry Week drinking from your coffee mug that’s shaped like a beaker, you’ve been cooking with the spices you store in test tubes, you’ve been wearing your t-shirts with periodic tables printed on them and you’ve been telling your best chemistry jokes.
Originally known as National Chemistry Day back in 1987, the American Chemical Society (ACS) created this even to bring awareness of the importance of chemistry in our day-to-day lives. The holiday has since been expanded to a full week and has been celebrated during the fourth week in October since 1989. To focus activities and celebrations for the holiday, the ACS assigns a theme each year. This year’s theme is “Chemistry is Out of This World!”
While National Chemistry Week runs from Oct 21-27, Mole Day is specifically celebrated on Oct 23 from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm. It’s a very specific window to celebrate the holiday, but there’s a reason. If you’re not sure what the reason is, write out the time and date using only numerical representation. Still scratching your head? Read on!
Ask yourself, “What is a mole?”
The short answer is – a mole is a unit of measure used in chemistry to represent a number (ex. A mole of ions or a mole of atoms). This number is equal to 6.022 x 1023 (see the resemblance to the date and time for National Mole Day?). So, for example, one mole of oxygen contains 6.022 x 1023 oxygen atoms.
National Mole Day
To make sure the mole (and chemistry in general) is given the recognition it deserves, the National Mole Day Foundation was formed. Since 1991, the National Mole Day Foundation has been bringing awareness to Mole Day and supporting recognition and celebration of the holiday around the country. To generate further enthusiasm for the holiday, the foundation creates a new theme each year. This year’s theme is “Moley Potter.”
Our Commitment to Science
We love science of all kind – chemistry included. Chemistry and chemical measurements help us understand our surrounding environment and give us the tools and skills to monitor and protect our natural resources. It helps us quantify the compounds and contaminants in the food and water we consume and helps us make the world a safe and healthy place for generations to come.
So as the weekend approaches, prepare to celebrate chemistry in a manner that would make the National Mole Day Foundation proud. Start off by breaking out your Erlenmeyer cocktail mixing set, your glowing, radioactive element coasters, and kicking back with your favorite drink while you come up with your best chemistry and Mole Day jokes.
Here are a few of mine:
Why is Avogadro so rich?
Because he’s a multi-mole-ionaire!
What do you get when you have a bunch of moles acting like idiots?
A bunch of moleasses!
What should you do if nobody laughs at your chemistry jokes?
Just keep telling them until you get a reaction.
Tell us your best chemistry joke in the comments below!