International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Partners for the
International Year of Chemistry 2011

See all Activities

Global Stamp Competition: Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise

Activity by Lida Schoen   |   added on Sep 13, 2010   |   Netherlands Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): IUPAC, Jeff Howson with MTN (Making the News Network), FlashMeeting, GSK and partners FACS, IKM, ACS, EC2E2N.

The Global Stamp Competition (IUPAC's CCE, Christiane Reiners and Lida Schoen) was launched at the opening ceremony of IYC 2011 in Paris on January 27-28, 2011. The competition is open to students all over the world in 3 age categories (12-14, 15-18 and undergraduates / teacher students from all subjects (not only chemistry!)


The aim of the global competition is to design a national stamp that reflects on 'Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise', showing the chemical impact on the culture and/or every day life in your country. Examples already mentioned are: (South Africa) washing-powder changed life in rural areas, (Egypt) mummies in ancient times and fighting pollution nowadays, (Taiwan) preventing danger of (UV) radiation, (UK) Nobel laureates and (Germany) new medicines.

Submission of your designs

Students can submit their designs to our (moderated) website, the IYC 2011 Global Stamp Competition section of 'Making the News'. On the homepage of the publication platform you will find (downloadable) instructions, conditions and guidelines how to submit your design with your account of the design.

We also offer an opportunity to (educational) video conferencing by using FlashMeeting for communicating with students in other countries (to help peer review). Teachers can book a session (instructions on the homepage).

 Start of the competition 

The competition is launched during the official Opening Ceremony of the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry in Paris, France on January 27-28, 2011. All students can start to submit their contributions now! You will be able to see stamp designs from other students and you have to rate them (peer review).

End of the competition

From January 29, 2011 till June 15, 2011 we will be ready to receive your submissions and reviews.

Questions about the competition

to be directed to Lida Schoen (ages 12-14 and 15-18) and Christiane Reiners (undergraduates and teacher students).


A panel of experts from IUPAC and all partners will judge the entries. The best entries in the 3 (age) categories will be given notice and their entries will be published on the different websites. National Chemical Societies will be encouraged to publish results of winners and runners up.

Acknowledgement for winning students

The (large) winning stamp designs will be on show during the IYC 2011 Closing Ceremony in Brussels, Belgium on December 1, 2011. Pictures will be taken and a report written, that will be free for dissemination. We even think about inviting winning students to take part in the closing ceremony in Brussels, depending on available funding and organisation.

What students should know before starting

1.       Subject 
You can work on your own ideas about 'Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise' for your stamp. We already listed ideas from different countries.

2.       Language
 The stamp should be self-explanatory, so people all over the world can understand it. It should show the chemical impact on culture and/or every day life in your country. You should also offer a short account (in English).

3.      Submission
We will only accept electronic entries sent to our publication platform ( On this site you will find a downloadable PowerPoint presentation with elaborate instructions and guidelines for submission

4.       Publicity 
Apart from an exhibit at the official IYC 2011 Closing Ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, the winning stamps will be published on the IUPAC and partner websites. We already have a keen interest from many other stakeholders, interested in Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise and the public understanding of chemistry.

Please click on the link (right) to download the Guideline for students with instruction and all guidelines (as above).

We look forward to receive many wonderful stamps from all over the world!

Topic: chemistry, celebrating chemistry, chemistry education, competition, muti disciplinary Audience: students, educators, industrial chemists, tertiary education, teachers, secondary schools, high schools, secondary school students, educational institutions


Melissa Pentecost | Feb 17, 2011 02:28AM

This looks great! We've added a link from New Zealand's focus on the Year of Chemistry

Javier Garcia-Martinez | Mar 11, 2011 01:14PM

This is a great initiative, Lida

Please let me know how I can help !

Spain just issued a new stamp to celebrate the IYC and Marie Curie


Linda Knapen - van Egmond | Mar 24, 2011 08:04AM

Great idea! Really curious to see the results. If there is anything we can do to help or promote this, let me know! 

Linda (

Mariam El Agamy | Mar 26, 2011 07:46PM

That is great Lida! I will publish the competition among all students in Egypt,hope we obtain good findings.

Mariam El Agamy

SAW coordinator in Egypt

Want to submit your own activity or comment?

In order to do so you need to be part of the IYC network. Please or sign up now.

Join the IYC Network