On the initiative of the Department of Organic Chemistry at ELTE, Eötvös Loránd University is donating 100 large-format periodic tables printed on canvas to Hungarian secondary schools, which will be installed in the classrooms of some forty institutions in Budapest and sixty in rural areas from the beginning of June. The aim of the initiative is to support the teaching of chemistry at secondary level and to promote careers in science.
In addition to the periodic table of the elements, the impressive 120x160 cm print also features the greatest figures in the centuries-long, intertwined history of Hungarian chemistry and ELTE. Students can also read short quotations from Jakab Winterl, Károly Than and two Nobel Prize winners, Albert Szent-Györgyi and György Hevesy, the namesake of ELTE's doctoral school of chemistry.
Ensuring a high quality supply of students and researchers is key for ELTE. This is already supported by a number of science-promoting activities launched by the University's Institute of Chemistry and its "Synthesis+" Excellence Programme. These include the recent OTDK-related "Chemistry Opinion Leader" competition aimed at secondary school students, videos involving well-known people in protein science (Innovations in Peptide Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry at High Level) or lectures by Nobel Prize-winning scientists invited to our country as part of the Molecular Frontiers series.
"Chemistry plays a key role in tackling problems that are important for society," recalls András Perczel, academic and head of the Department of Organic Chemistry at ELTE, and head of "Synthesis+". - "Chemists are involved in the development of the iron and steel industry, gluten-free diets, but also nanoparticles and electrochemical systems, organic and inorganic synthesis and environmentally friendly solutions for pharmaceutical processes. As one of the country's leading centres of chemical education, we want to do everything we can to attract more young people to this exciting, important and diverse 21st century science," he says.
The posters in classrooms from autumn onwards could encourage many future chemists to study at university level or even pursue a career in science. ELTE continues to welcome applications from secondary schools that would like to use the large-format periodic system in their teaching.