Duties and Responsibilities Symposium Organizers at the 26th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Oregon State University

Oral presentations offered at each Biennial Conference on Chemical Education are a great way to share findings of effective practices for teaching and learning. We appreciate all of the work that the symposium organizers do to prepare and coral individuals to give talks. The 26th BCCE program committee is dedicated to serving the needs of the participants of the BCCE and the objectives of the ACS Division of Chemical Education. Certainly, the numerous symposia at the BCCE serve as the foundation of the conference. We are counting on our colleagues to volunteer to organize a symposium for the BCCE.

For all of the good work our organizers do, the recent BCCEs have experienced several difficulties. Some individuals are doing too much with respect to presenting, presiding, being a workshop leader and organizing symposia sessions. One might think this is a good thing, but with respect to building a program where there are no conflicts, it makes the task much more difficult and time consuming. Currently, the ACS MAPS system is not capable for checking for all types of conflicts. Therefore, the 26th BCCE is placing a limit on the number of presentations, presiding sessions, workshops and organizing sessions an individual can do during the BCCE.

You can organize a symposium where the presenters are “by invitation only”, or you can organize an open symposium and consider abstracts submitted by any participant. If you have an idea for a symposium, but you do not want to organize it, then you may submit the idea and discuss the situation with one of the 26th BCCE program co-chairs.

The 26th BCCE will be accepting proposals for symposia until August 23, 2019. If you want your symposium to be included in the “26th BCCE Call for Papers”, you need to submit a proposal through the ACS Meeting Abstract Planning System – MAPS by 8pm PDT September 16, 2019.

Here is the basic information required for a symposium proposal that is submitted to the ACS MAPS system:

  • Title of the symposium:
  • Brief description of the purpose of the symposium:
  • Audience: college, high school, elementary/middle school, general audience or any combination
  • Organizer: name, institution, address, phone number, e-mail address
  • Presider: name, institution, address, phone number, e-mail address
  • Potential restrictions (if any): number of presenters, day, type of room, lecture demonstration facilities, multimedia needs, etc.
  • Potential problems (if any):

Your proposal will be automatically forwarded to Thomas Greenbowe, University of Oregon, program chair and Louis Wojcinski Oregon State University, Program associate chair for the 26th BCCE. The program co-chairs will review your proposal and make a decision as to whether to accept, reject, or amend it. If you submit a proposal for a symposium either you or someone you contact will need to serve as the “presider” of the symposium. The presider can be one of the speakers of your symposium. If the symposium has more than one session, the organizer can elect to have co-presiders.

A symposium that has 4 presenters will be scheduled as a half-session; 8 presenters will be scheduled as a half-day session. If you have 16 presenters, the symposium will be scheduled as a whole day symposium.

If your proposal is accepted, then you are expected to attend the 26th BCCE and contribute to the presiding and organization of the symposium. As the organizer of a symposium, you can assume the duties of the presider, you can convince someone else to be the presider, or you can split the duties of the presider with someone else if you have both a morning and an afternoon session. If you cannot convince someone to be the presider, then the 26th BCCE program co-chairs will step-in and designate one of your speakers as a presiders or designate one the of the Al D. Hyde and the Key Tones’ musicians or vocalists as a presider.

Duties and Responsibilities of an Organizer of a Symposium

As the organizer of a symposium, you are responsible for contacting at least 4-8 individuals who are planning to attend the BCCE and who are willing to be a presenter at your symposium. If you are running a “by invitation only” symposium, you need to contact as many individuals as needed in order to have enough speakers for your symposium. After the “Call for Papers” is published and mailed to members of the Division of Chemical Education and the participants begin to register and submit abstracts on-line, you will have access (electronically) to the abstracts submitted to your symposium via the ACS MAPS system February, 2020. There will be a MAPS WebX training session available to BCCE symposia organizers prior to February, 2020.

Symposia organizers will need to send reminders to all of the speakers who agreed to present to be certain their abstracts are submitted by the deadline. You can identify individuals who have expertise in the area of your symposium topic through a number of venues:

  1. Review who has published papers on your topic in the Journal of Chemical Education, Journal of College Science Teaching, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, etc.
  2. Review the abstracts of individuals who have presented papers on your topic at regional or national meetings of the American Chemical Society.
  3. Attend a regional or national ACS meeting and see who is presenting papers on your topic.
  4. Ask someone in the ACS Division of Chemical Education for recommendations as to who is doing high quality work in the area of your symposium.
  5. One does not need to be a member of the ACS and or Division of Chemical Education to serve as a symposium organizer, symposium presider, or presenter.

As the organizer of a symposium, you need to inform your speakers that the 26th BCCE committee will NOT pay their registration fee, travel, lodging, etc. In addition, please make a special effort to impress upon your speakers in-spite-of-the-fact that Thomas Greenbowe is the 26th BCCE program chair and is a faculty member at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon the location of the 26th BCCE is indeed at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

Symposium organizers, presiders and speakers do not receive any discounts or free rides at any BCCE. What you do get is a venue for presenting your work in front of your colleagues. Every faculty member or instructor needs to show contributions to professional development and the BCCE is a great place to do this. Symposium organizers, presiders and speakers receive our thanks and the satisfaction of knowing you have contributed to advancing the state-of-the art of chemical education.

You must also inform the potential presenters of the restrictions on the number of papers they can personally present at a BCCE. The rules are posted on the 26th BCCE website. Essentially, an individual may personally present any combination of two papers, workshops and/or posters (The Rule of Two).

As a symposium organizer you may personally be involved in organizing or leading four things at a 26th BCCE: two symposia and two workshops, three workshops and one symposium, or three symposia and one workshop, etc., (The Rule of Four).

After the abstract deadline, you will use MAPS to identify who has submitted abstracts to your symposium. MAPS will be available to symposium organizers on March 2, 2020. You need to decide on the order of the presentations and use MAPS to order the speakers in your symposium. You should review each presenter’s request for equipment and materials and check with the program committee to see if we are capable of meeting these requests. You serve as a middle person and negotiator. MAPS closes for symposium organizers on March 30, 2020.

Next, you need to check your line-up with the 26th BCCE program co-chairs and receive permission to officially inform the presenters that their abstracts have been accepted. You will be informed of the day and time of the presentation around April 29, 2020. We know and appreciate the fact that you have volunteered your time and effort to organize a symposia at the 26th BCCE. For being the organizer of a symposia, you have your name published in the 26th BCCE program, the right to list organizing the symposium on your c.v., and upon picking up your registration packet at the meeting, you will receive a commemorative “Al D. Hyde and the Key Tones” guitar pick. You will also receive thank you notes and cards from the presenters and some of the participants. Some symposium organizers receive flowers.

As the 26th BCCE approaches, you should encourage your presenters to register for the meeting and for housing before the deadlines. Last, about a week before the BCCE, e-mail your presenters and say you look forward to meeting them at the 26th BCCE in Corvallis, Oregon on the campus of Oregon State University.

If you do not get on-line and into MAPS and organize your symposium by the deadline March 30, 2020, this means someone else will have to organize your symposium. Unfortunately, this means you cannot claim credit for organizing the symposium since you did not do so. Failure to organize your symposium in MAPS on time, will result in the 26th BCCE program chairs removing your name as the organizer of the symposium and appointing someone else – perhaps a speaker in your symposium or one the of the Al D. Hyde and the Key Tones’ musicians or vocalists as the organizer of the symposium.


By clicking and submitting a symposium proposal on MAPS, the organizers of the 26th BCCE assume that you have read and agree to the duties of a symposium organizer and presider:

26th BCCE Symposium Organizer Calendar and Deadlines



Abstract Submission Begins: January 6, 2020

Abstract Submission Closes: February 24, 2020

ACS MAPS Training: February 27, 2020

MAPS Opens for Symposium Organizers: March 2, 2020

MAPS Closes for Symposium Organizers: March 30, 2020


DivCHED Rule on Recordings at BCCE 2020

1) The use of any device to capture, stream, upload or rebroadcast speakers or presentations to any public media site or network is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of the Division of Chemical Education.

2) Unless expressly prohibited by the symposium organizer or presenter, cameras, camera phones and tablet cameras may only be used to:

  • capture images of presenters and other participants at the end of presentations with appropriate permissions of those photographed
  • capture images used in note taking apps as long as the notes are for personal use and are not shared with any other individual or posted on any electronic or hard copy sites

3) Any other use is strictly prohibited at all official ACS meetings and events without the express written consent from the ACS.

Please respect the author’s copyrights and intellectual property.