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Symposium Organizers

Duties and Responsibilities of Symposium Organizers at the 28th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, University of Kentucky

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 recruit individuals to give talks. The 28th 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 frustrations. 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. As in the past, there is a limit on the number of presentations, presiding sessions, workshops and organizing sessions an individual can do during the BCCE.

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 28th BCCE website. Essentially, an individual may personally present any combination of two papers, workshops and/or posters (The Rule of Two). Individuals may be non-presenting authors for additional papers.

As a symposium organizer you may personally be involved in organizing, leading or participating in four things at a 28th BCCE: two symposia and two workshops, three workshops and one symposium, or three symposia and one workshop, etc., (The Rule of Four).

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, you may submit the idea and discuss the situation with one of the 28th BCCE program co-chairs.The 28th BCCE will be accepting proposals for symposia until November 10, 2023.

Here is the basic information required for a symposium proposal that is submitted at

  • Title of the symposium
  • Brief description of the purpose of the symposium
  • Additional information (to be included in the abstract box):
    • 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, etc.
    • Potential problems (if any)
  • Primary audience: K-12, Two-Year, College and University
  • Topic group: Classroom Practice and Learning Environment, Curriculum and Cognition, Assessment and Research Methods, Professional Development

Your proposal will be automatically forwarded to the program chairs Kim Woodrum, University of Kentucky and Irv Levy, Pingree School. 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.

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee acceptance. Be fully aware that there is a possibility that your proposal will either not be accepted or there will be a need to combine your symposia with another of similar focus.

If your proposal is accepted, then you are expected to register for and attend the 28th 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 designate 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 do not indicate a presider, then the 28th BCCE program co-chairs will designate one of your speakers 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 register for and 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. You will receive training for the ExOrdo website prior to February 2024 so that you can begin reviewing submitted abstracts as they are submitted. 

Symposia organizers will need to send reminders to all 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 28th BCCE committee will NOT pay their registration fee, travel, lodging, etc. Symposium organizers, presiders and speakers do not receive any discounts at 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.

After the abstract deadline, you will use to identify who has submitted abstracts to your symposium. Access to this feature will be available to symposium organizers on March 15, 2024. You need to decide on the order of the presentations and use ExOrdo 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. ExOrdo closes for symposium organizers on March 29, 2024. Your symposium will need to be fully organized by this date. 

Next, you need to check your line-up with the 28th 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 no later than the end of April 2024. We know and appreciate the fact that you have volunteered your time and effort to organize a symposia at the 28th BCCE. For being the organizer of a symposia, you have your name published in the 28th BCCE program, and the right to list organizing the symposium on your CV. 

As the 28th BCCE approaches, you should encourage your presenters to register for the meeting and for housing before the deadlines. About a week before the BCCE, e-mail your presenters and say you look forward to meeting them at the 28th BCCE in Lexington, Kentucky at the University of Kentucky.


By clicking and submitting a symposium proposal at, the organizers of the 28th BCCE assume that you have read and agree to the duties of a symposium organizer and presider:

28th BCCE Symposium Organizer Calendar and Deadlines
  • Abstract Submission Begins: January 8, 2024
  • Abstract Submission Closes: March 15, 2024
  • ExOrdo Instructions provided to Symposium Organizers: March 15
  • ExOrdo Opens for Symposium Organizers: March 15, 2024
  • Symposia organized and order communicated to Program Chairs: March 15 - 29, 2024
DivCHED Rule on Recordings at BCCE 2024
  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.