28 August 2009 13:01 [Source: ICB]
ON A damp and dreary August morning, six eager volunteers from the ICIS Chemical Business editorial team in the UK convened for a battle of wits and chemical knowledge in the sleepy town of Dorking, Surrey.
The day marked the inaugural Great ICIS Chemical Hunt, a competition aimed at school children and students to raise awareness about the importance of chemical products in our everyday lives.
Split into two teams and armed with questions and a camera, it was a race against time to find selected items and regroup a few hours later with photographic proof.
A total of 24 chemicals and clues were listed, ranging from shoe polish (acrylic acid) and suntan lotion (titanium dioxide [TiO2]) to different examples of tattoos (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene [ABS] is used in the ink).
The competitive nature of the hunt spilled onto the Dorking streets and rubbed off on shopkeepers and pedestrians who helped the team track down the last remaining products.
The challenge threw up more than a few surprises and even our team had trouble answering some of the questions.
The scavenger hunt concept will be rolled out to schools and students as part of the ICIS Chemical Business Education and Recruitment Campaign, which officially launches on September 14.
The chemical industry has an ageing workforce and is struggling to attract and retain the best staff. Whether it is because of difficult course material or the poor image the public has of the industry, there do not appear to be enough young people entering the industry.
Our year-long campaign aims to stimulate proactive ideas such as the chemical hunt for the industry to work with, and to look at what is being done to improve the poor recruitment situation.
A blog dedicated to the campaign has already been launched that will be regularly updated to highlight company initiatives, education and recruitment news and also the articles we feature in the magazine.
There is also a special area on the ICIS connect web forum that will focus entirely on the campaign and allow users to discuss the issues facing the industry. Files can be uploaded, opinions can be shared and the progress of our campaign can be followed.
The initiative launches in a few weeks and we are eager to hear what your company is doing to encourage students to enter the chemical industry.
TEASERS FROM THE QUIZ
1. Find two applications of rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and two for flexible PVC
2. Find an example of a carpet and a tin of shoe polish that contains acrylic acid
3. Find three examples of frozen food packaging that contains polyethylene (PE)
4. Find an example of expandable polystyrene (EPS) packaging
5. Find two examples of polycarbonate (PC) used on a vehicle
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