Chemistry Week Resolution

Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Chemistry Week
by Rush Dew Holt

Supporting the Goals and Ideals of National Chemistry Week



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, as we face the concern about the United States' ability to sustain its scientific and technological superiority throughout this decade and beyond, when we are losing jobs to more technologically literate nations, and when our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education is in need of serious attention and renovation, it is important that we consider this resolution recognizing the importance of chemistry in our everyday lives, and in particular with the toys that we, or our children, grandchildren, or family members play with today. That is why today I am introducing along with Representative Vernon Ehlers a resolution recognizing the importance and positive contributions of chemistry to our everyday lives and supporting the goals and ideals of National Chemistry Week.

We have all seen the joy and wonder of children at play, and we can certainly all recall our favorite childhood toys, such as Silly Putty, the Slinky, and the Etch-a-Sketch. In fact, the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission carried Silly Putty with them to alleviate boredom and to help fasten down tools during periods of weightlessness. Silly Putty came to us as a product of chemistry; Silly Putty is a polymer of isoprene.

BusinessWeek Online ran an article with the subtitle "Toymakers are pushing the boundaries in artificial intelligence, wireless communications, and virtual realities. And the benefits are flowing to other industries as well." The military, the medical field, gamers, chemists, and material scientists all connect to the toy industry. Chemists and material scientists have created such materials as self- healing plastics, giving toys and many other consumer goods a longer lifetime.

The curiosity that toys ignite through the "why did it do that?" and "how did that happen?" invigorate the exploration and discovery of the world around us. Many scientists and engineers turn to toys for moments of respite and of inspiration. Innovations in technology, at times can be traced back to moments with toys. That is why this year's theme of National Chemistry Week, "The Joy of Toys", is relevant. What better ways to inspire and educate the potential chemists and engineers of tomorrow but through the loved experiences of playing with toys and learning what has made all the fun possible?

Toys spark imagination, imagination fuels innovation. The celebration of chemistry, a science which is the backbone to the health of many industries including pharmaceuticals, electronics, automotive, and aerospace, through the chemistry of toys is worthy of our wholehearted support. It is in the best interest of our Nation to create both a curiosity and a desire to understand our world to fuel a technological and scientifically literate, critical thinking population to carry us forward in the 21st century.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).