IPEC develops and supports the introduction of polymers into the K-12 curricula. Its programs have proven to be an excellent way to interest students in polymers and, more broadly, in science and technology. Students at all levels can relate to polymers. Current IPEC sponsors are the American Chemical Society Divisions of Polymer Chemistry and Polymeric Materials Science and Engineering, the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Akron section of SPE, and the Plastics Pioneers Association.
The Intersociety Polymer Education Council (IPEC) is a non-profit organization of polymer-related professional societies. IPEC promotes science education by encouraging and facilitating the incorporation of polymer topics in K - 12 classrooms. In the years since its inception, IPEC has had a pronounced impact on science education in the United States. Through its on-going Polymer Ambassador program, more than 2,000 teachers per year (and more than 25, 000 teachers total) receive hands-on training in polymer topics. It has been estimated that this has resulted in several million K - 12 students learning about polymers over the 21 years of IPEC programming. The NSF-sponsored Macromolecular Teacher Resource Institute (MATR) was offered in conjunction with and with partial support from IPEC. Through this program, about seventy teachers received in-depth training about polymers during three week summer sessions at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. This program continues to impact teachers through dissemination of the materials that were developed under this program. Teachers also have received in-depth training in the Discovery in Plastics Processes workshops offered at Eastern Michigan University, another program offered in conjunction with IPEC. Additional programs for K - 12 teachers have been developed at Clemson University, the University of Akron, and the University of Southern Mississippi. IPEC is a dynamic organization that is having a significant impact on K - 12 science education in the United States.