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The vision of the 10th International Symposium on Microscale Chemistry (ISMC) is to stimulate the development and use of microscale practical science approaches world-wide.


The ISMC symposia desire to develop relationships for working collaboratively with other microscale chemistry communities globally. Furthermore, the ISMC symposia support on-going initiatives to raise awareness and understanding of issues related to microscale and green chemistry. They provide for networking to promote science education for capacity building in participating countries, recognizing the importance of using evidence-based practice and metacognitive approaches in teaching and learning of science.

The Aims of the 10th ISMC are:

  • To develop strategic partnerships with microscale chemistry communities in various countries.
  • To create awareness of green chemistry principles and the advantages of microscale chemistry.
  • To increase opportunities and greater participation by colleagues from developing countries.
  • To develop microscale science instructional techniques.
  • To support scientific inquiry and independent thought through performing microscale science experiments.
  • To provide students with the necessary skills and apparatus to improve their hands-on and minds-on knowledge of science.

The History of Previous Symposia:

This symposium is the 10th ISMC (International Symposium on Microscale Chemistry). Previous symposia were hosted at the following cities:

  • Mexico City, Mexico, 2000
  • Hong Kong, 2001
  • Mexico City, Mexico, 2005
  • Bangkok, Thailand, 2009
  • Manila, Philippines, 2010
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait, 2011
  • Berlin, Germany, 2013
  • Mexico City, Mexico, 2015
  • Sendai, Japan, 2017

Microscale practitioners meet during the International Symposia on Microscale Chemistry (usually biannually in recent years) to share research and new experiments, as well as to report on microscale developments worldwide. They also use the symposia to collaborate, network, and support microscale science activities in the host country.

About Microscale Science in Education

Practical work is an important part of any science course. However, mainly due to budget constraints, large classes, time limitations and inadequate teacher preparations, practical activities are frequently left out from classroom instruction.

  • Small-scale chemistry experimentation in which one uses miniature chemical equipment can drastically reduce the quantities of chemicals used during experimentation, which can help overcome some of the barriers preventing practical work.
  • Small-scale experimentation also decreases the time it takes to do experiments and limits chemical waste. Using less chemicals makes the experiments safer.
  • All these characteristics make small-scale chemistry, and small-scale science in general, an excellent teaching and learning tool at all levels of education, both formal and non-formal, including distance learning.

The foregoing references to minimising chemical hazards and damage to the environment, reflect concerns that motivate ‘green chemistry’.

  • ‘Green chemistry’ emphasizes the concepts of atom economy, source reduction, pathway modification, solvent substitution and pollution prevention, as means of improving the environmental impact of industrial chemistry.
  • Microscale practical activities in education serve to promote these concepts as part of enhancing the scientific literacy of future citizens.

Concerns about chemicals are of much less importance in other sciences. However, microscale science activities are not at all limited to chemistry, but are represented in biology and physics too. Indeed the microwell plates commonly used in microscale chemistry, are a distinctive feature of biochemistry and clinical chemistry practice, whilst the ubiquitous electronic circuits of modern devices remind us on a daily basis of this microscale aspect of physics. Classroom practice today should logically reflect these realities, as also the support that Information Communication Technology offers.

Scientific Committee Members

The International Scientific Committee composed of the following researchers: Prof. Jorge Ibanez (Mexico), Dr. Angela Koehler (Germany) and Prof. John Bradley (RSA) and the Local Organizing Committee: Mrs. Marié du Toit, Dr. Colin Read, Dr. Nico Morabe (all lecturers from the North-West University in South Africa) and Mr. Doc Sethole (CEO of One-on-One Community Based Programmes).

Plenary speakers

Prof. Jorge Ibanez (Mexico)

Dr. Angela Kohler (Germany)

Prof. Abdulaziz Alnajjar (Kuwait)

Keynote speakers

Prof. David Katz (USA)

 Mr. Bob Worley (UK)

 Prof. John Bradley (RSA)

Prof. Dr. Michael Tausch (Germany)

Workshop presenters

Prof. David Katz (USA)

 Mr. Bob Worley (UK)