RACI Other Initiatives

    Other Initiatives

    The RACI runs a number of other educational initiatives to enhance chemistry education in schools.

    National Lectures

    The RACI holds a number of chemistry lectures in each state, aimed at secondary school students.


    NSW: Nyholm Lecture Series

    The Nyholm Lecture Series commemorates Sir Ronald S. Nyholm (1917-1971), Fellow of the Royal Society, an outstanding Australian researcher and passionate chemical educator whose career was cut short at its peak in a tragic motor vehicle accident.

    These popular Lectures are directed towards high school students in years 9 and 10, and loosely link to the HSC syllabus, although others will find the material inspiring. A feature of the Lectures is their practical content and interactive presentation style.

    QLD: The O’Donnell Schools Lecture Series

    The RACI Queensland Schools Lecture series was introduced in 1980 by the Chemical Education Group of the Qld Branch of the RACI. At that time the Education Group was headed by Professor Jim O’Donnell, the resident Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Queensland. Sadly, Jim passed away in 1995 and the Schools Lecture Series has been subsequently renamed for him. The Lecture is open to students in Grade 11 and 12 studying chemistry/science, & students in Junior Secondary interested in studying chemistry/science to Grade 12 may also attend.

    SA: The Stranks Memorial Lecture

    The lectures are mostly aimed at chemistry students from year 11 and 12 and have SACE syllabus links. However, some recent topics have included more widely inspirational and educational content to engage year 9 and 10 students and the public.

    The lectures commemorate Professor Donald Stranks AO who was Head of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Adelaide from 1964 to 1973, then Vice Chancellor from 1977 until his death in 1986, and Foundation Chair of the RACI Chemical Education Group in SA.

    These lectures have been organised by the Chemical Education Group of the SA Branch. The first lecture was in 1991.

    TAS: Tasmanian RACI Youth Lecture

    The Tasmanian Branch of the RACI organises, conducts and ‘tours’ an annual youth lecture for upper primary to college age school students. The lecture is usually delivered during the September-October period at several locations around Tasmania including Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. Lecturers may hail from inter- or intra-state, and where possible themes involving ‘colour, movement and/or sound’ (or some combination thereof) are targeted. A small fee is charged (per student) to attend each lecture.

    VIC: Hartung Youth Lectures

    The Hartung Youth Lectures aim to inspire students in years 9-12 and promises to be an engaging and educational experience, in the tradition of the lectures given by Professor Hartung over 50 years ago. Lectures are usually presented as part of National Science Week.

    WA: Bayliss Lecture Series

    The Western Australian Branch of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute established the Bayliss Youth Lecture Series in 1971 to pay tribute to the late emeritus professor Sir Noel Bayliss, Kt, CBE, FAA, FRACI for his contributions to chemistry and education, and to encourage in young people an interest in chemistry. These lectures given by inspirational chemistry speakers from academe and industry are aimed at high school students from Year 9 and the general public. Recent topics have included forensic science, conservation and medicinal chemistry.

    The Bayliss Youth Lecture is organised by the Chemical Education Group of the Western Australian Branch of the RACI with support from ChemCentre, Rowe Scientific, Kwinana Industries Council and the Northern Territory Branch of the RACI. In 2020, the Lecture was given by Dr Georgina Sauzier MRACI CChem from Curtin University and is titled, Shining a Light on Crime: Applications of Spectroscopy to Forensic Science'. Here is the link:



    Chemistry Resource Centre

    The RACI has produced a free resource database for teachers to use as a teaching aid.

    It has been divided into 4 Units, and includes latest news, research articles and demonstrations that both students and teachers alike will find beneficial for their chemistry knowledge and understanding.


    school chemistry experiments
    chemistry experiments for schools

    RACI School Affiliate Program

    As a result of being active in chemical education at primary and secondary school level the RACI has developed a school affiliate membership to assist schools in the provision of chemistry education.

    As an RACI School Affiliate the school, teachers and students all benefit, with access to educational resources and the latest knowledge and information, and an invaluable opportunity to find out more about the chemistry profession through networking with other RACI members.

    RACI School Affiliate Membership costs $190 p.a. School teachers who are full members (MRACI and above) of the RACI will receive a 50% discount on membership if their school is an affiliate member.

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