Community Outreach

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry endeavors to advance education and professional development in the chemical sciences through community outreach efforts and strategic partnerships. Here are some examples of current initiatives.

K-12 Education


The Chemathon is an annual chemistry competition for high school chemistry students in Maryland and the District of Columbia. The Chemathon competition is organized by a committee of area high school chemistry teachers and chemists, and is hosted by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland at College Park. There are no entry or registration fees.

2012 International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)

The University of Maryland is proud to have been selected as the venue for the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in July 2012. The United States and the American Chemical Society (ACS), along with the UM Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will host this annual chemistry competition for secondary school students from across the world. The campus will provide laboratory space and lodging for nearly 300 high-school-age competitors and their mentors.

The International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) is an annual competition for the world’s most talented chemistry students at the secondary school level. Nations around the world send a team of four students, who are tested on their chemistry knowledge and skills in a five-hour laboratory practical and five-hour written theoretical examination.

Professional Development

National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE)

The University of Maryland Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry established a strategic partnership with the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) on March 20, 2008. The department wants to encourage more African American students to pursue graduate study at UM, and to nurture the success of outstanding black scientists. To further this goal, the department contributed $15,000 to NOBCChE at the organization’s 35th annual conference in Philadelphia and has been a nationwide leader in recruiting and supporting black faculty and students. Visit the University of Maryland NOBCChE chapter’s website.

Community Education

Maryland Day

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry showcases the many exciting applications of chemistry at the University of Maryland’s annual “open house” each spring.

Highlights include:

  • A Chemathon competition highlighting past and future developments in chemistry
  • Chemistry Fun for Kids of All Ages
  • Chemistry Magic

Visit the Maryland Day website

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Biochemistry PhD Program

We provide rigorous graduate course work in biochemical and biophysical principles and techniques as well as in molecular biology, genomics and proteomics, and systems biology. Learn more about our Biochemistry Graduate Program.

Chemistry PhD Program

Collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary fields such as nanofabrication, bioorganic chemistry, supramolecular synthesis, environmental and atmospheric chemistry and fuel cell research. Learn more about our Chemistry Graduate Program.