CEF builds a better world through science.

  • Inspiring students early in life to pursue STEM in study and careers
  • Engaging educators to build their confidence in teaching hands-on science in grades K-8
  • Strengthening communities by connecting students and educators with volunteers from science industries.

CEF’s Programs build the future workforce by inspiring students today.


The Challenge

The Challenge celebrates and elevates the science of chemistry to inspire students to explore the field. This local, regional, and national academic competition is for students in grades 5-8, when most U.S. students have not studied chemistry as its own subject. Students prepare for regional-level competitions, and can advance to the annual National Challenge held in Houston, TX in June.

Student participants report that after participating in the Challenge, they are more interested in STEM careers, aware of chemistry’s role in every day life, and feel more confident in their ability to understand chemistry.

Activity Guides

The Activity Guides are hands-on science lessons that use common, inexpensive items to teach science in the classroom or in out-of-school settings. With over 50 hands-on, exciting chemistry activities for K-8 students, CEF’s Activity Guides empower educators.

These activities can be done anywhere – no lab required! Students can then engage with foundational science concepts that align with learning standards. All Activity Guides can be downloaded for free on our website.

Essential Elements

Essential Elements offers professional development workshops that build educator confidence in teaching science.

One teacher stated after taking our workshop, “This makes teaching chemistry more accessible and fun! As a non-science major, it’s easy to be intimidated by teaching science, but these activities were fun and engaging, and I learned a lot!”

Career Conversations

Career Conversations provides online and in-person resources for students to explore different STEM careers and talk to professionals about future workforce opportunities.