The Great OUTREACH Challenge

Profielfoto van Oscar van den Brink
19 April 2023 | 1 minute read

By Henk Hoekstra

On the 25th of March, ASTP, PTTP and ATLAS talent programme students came together at theatre De Flint in Amersfoort, to present the outcomes of the Great OUTREACH challenge.

The challenge
The Great OUTREACH challenge, hosted by ChemistryNL, had its kick-off on November 26 at InHolland, Amsterdam. Here, the students were presented with something most companies and institutes probably can relate to: A decreasing amount of students and, in term, employees in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector, with a focus on chemistry.

Divided in 10 teams, the students were tasked to come up with an out-of-the-box idea to create positive attention for the chemistry sector.

The teams each got one of the UN sustainability goals, to help them narrow down the broad subject that is chemistry.


The judges
On the 25th of March, each team presented their idea, execution and possible proof of concept in a 5 minute pitch to a jury consisting of Jacqueline Vaessen (chair ChemistryNL), Sharene Veelders (secondary school teacher), Jeroen Sijbers (Director of Stichting C3), Noor Abdulhussain (Chemistry PhD and ‘sister in science’), Karen Elfes (Chemistry student and member of young KNCV) and Lauren Vedder (Chemistry lecturer and member of the ‘labtijger’ YouTube account).


The winners
The winning team, team 7, UN-SDG clean water (3 ATLAS, 2 PTTP and 4 ASTP students)  Presented their concept for a card game, with as goal to lead clean water to a village.

The runner up, team 9, UN-SDG Responsible production (1 ATLAS, 2 PTTP and 4 ASTP students) Pitched their concept of chemistry related puzzles on packaging for food young children often come across on the breakfast table (e.g. ‘hagelslag’, chocolate sprinkles).

Pitch slides of the winning teams can be found here (logged-in COAST participants only).

The winning teams did not leave empty-handed, with 1000 and 500 Euros awards, respectively.

We hope that the proposed ideas will be put into practice and that the inflow of chemistry students will grow soon.