Community Activities - Chicagoland

    This year Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) may look a lot like last year – different.   However, chemists all around the Chicagoland area are making sure to celebrate.  The local section has done several things to help everyone be able to celebrate CCEW.  The theme for this year is “Reducing our Footprint with Chemistry”.  All of our activities are for chemists young and old, but if you are a preK - 12 age school child there is a special reward for articpating.  Any K – 12 age child who can show the section they participated in several of these  activities by submitting photos and/or videos to [email protected] will receive a small token of doing their part in learning about sustainability and working to safe our planet which we all love.  You are able to submit your photos and videos by May 1st to receive the free gift.  

    • The Carbon Free Day Pledge If everyone in our community pledges to do something to reduce their carbon footprint for 1 day, we can help our planet. Don’t ever think just one person doing something is insignificant.  Every little bit does help.  We would love to see all our members help reduce their carbon footprint for at least one day!
    • This is for all ages of our community.  Produce a short video on a creative way to reuse an item that you might normally throw away.
      • Your VIDEO must be:
        • Original
        • No more than 180 seconds in duration. 
        • Videos must explain - in an innovative, engaing and etertaining manner - why you picked your item, why it would be better to reuse or repurpose the iterm, how to repurpose or reuse the item and why it is better to reuse the item instead of throwing it out.  
        • Must be suitable for K - 12 children and be interesting to adults as well.
        • Script for the video 
        • Closed captioning would be appreciated
      • All videos must be submitted to [email protected] and must include the following:     
        • Videos maybe an attachment or a link to the posted video on
        • Title of submission
        • Name of child 
        • School child is attending
        • Grade of child
        • Script for the video
        • Parent / gaurdian permission - By submitting an entry, you confirm that you have the right, including any required permission of individuals depicted in the video, to publicly display the video. You also confirm that you have the right to incorporate into your video and publicly perform any music accompaniment in the video.
      • No more than six submissions will be chosen (preK - 2nd grade, 3rd - 5th grade, 6th - 8th grade, high school, college, and mixture (range of age groups partipated) by the panel of general reviewers based on three parameters: scientific merit, artistic merit, and creative combination of the science and art. 
    • Take the carbon footprint quiz – Learn about your impact on the planet by taking either the Carbon Footprint Quiz for elementary / middle school student or the quiz for middle school and beyond
    • Earth Day Activities for the whole family – Try your hands at the various family activities to learn about the importance of taking care of our planet and make it more sustainable. More activities will be added as the month goes on.  Please keep checking back for more ideas.
    • Do something to help the environment - pick up garbage around your neighborhood that might be in the partways or parks, conduct a plastic bag drive for your neighborhood, etc.  Every little bit helps!


    REMEMBER -  Any preK – 12 age child who can show the section they participated in several of these  activities by submitting photos and/or videos to [email protected] will receive a small token of doing their part in learning about sustainability and working to safe our planet which we all love.  You are able to submit your photos and videos by May 1st to receive the free gift.  

    2021 CCEW Is Coming

    Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry

    Celebrate CCEW 2021 is right around the corner.  ACS and the Chicago Section will be participating in Earth Week on April 18–24 this year.  This year’s theme is:  “Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry.”  Please join us in April with many fun filled activities, videos, a carbon footprint pledge and a contest.  Find out more starting on March 15th.  However, one this that is open right now is the 2021 Illustrated Poetry Contest.  Please spread the word.  We want as many K – 12 children to participate in this wonderful activity.  Write and illustrate a poem using the CCEW theme, “Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry.” Your poem must be no more than 40 words and in the following styles to be considered:


    Possible topics related to the CCEW 2021 theme include:

    • Environmental footprint                                 
    • Recycle
    • Clean air and water
    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Life cycle

    Entries will be judged based upon:

    • Artistic Merit - use of color, quality of drawing, design & layout

    • Poem Message - fun, motivational, inspiring about yearly theme

    • Originality Creativity - unique, clever and/or creative design

    • Neatness - free of spelling and grammatical errors

    Contest rules:

    • All poems must be no more than 40 words, and in one of the following styles to be considered: Haiku, Limerick, Ode, ABC poem, Free verse, End rhyme, and Blank verse.
    • Entries are judged based upon relevance to and incorporation of the yearly theme (Reducing Our Footprint with Chemistry), word choice and imagery, colorful artwork, adherence to poem style, originality and creativity, and overall presentation.
    • All entries must be original works without aid from others. Physical drawings may be scanned or captured via camera and submitted to the online form. Illustrations may be created using crayons, watercolors, other types of paint, colored pencils, or markers.
    • The illustration may also be electronically created by using a digital painting and drawing app on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. If the illustration is created using a digital painting or drawing app, the name of the program must be included on the entry form.
    • The text of the poem should be easy to read and may be typed before the hand-drawn or digital illustration is added, or the poem may be written on lined paper, which is cut out and pasted onto the unlined paper with the illustration.
    • No clipart or unoriginal images can be used.
    • Only one entry per student will be accepted.
    • Students must be sponsored by a school or another sponsoring group (e.g. Homeschool Association, Boys and Girls Club, Scout Troop, 4-H, etc.).
    • All illustrated poems and/or digital representations of the poems become the property of the American Chemical Society.
    • Acceptance of prizes constitutes consent to use winners’ names, likenesses, and entries for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes.


    K-12 students are asked to submit their illustrated poems directly via the new online submission form system.  The deadline for the submissions is April 25th, 2021.

    K – 2nd grade form

    3rd – 5th grade form

    6th – 8th grade form

    9th – 12th grade form

    Good Luck and we hope to have many wonderful submissions!  Any questions or comments please contact Sherri at [email protected]

    The Chicago ACS Section has 50 K - 12 educator kits for National Chemistry Week. These kits will have supplies and instructions for teachers to use in their classroom. Please fill out the linked form to sign up to receive a kit. Kits will be available in mid-October at several locations and come back to the site then to find links to videos about polymers, industries that use polymers and how to do the activities.

    More kits will be available throughout the year for teachers to do demonstrations and labs with their students. Please stay tune for more information about when these kits are available. 



    On behalf of the CCEW poetry contest committee, we would like to THANK everyone that entered this year.  We appreciate all of your creativity and effort.  The following K -12 students are the winners of this year’s CCEW poetry contest:

    3rd - 5th grade competition:  Akshara Kasinathan – 3rd grader at Barbara B. Rose Elementary School

    6th – 8th grade competition: James Xiao – 8th grader at Alan B. Shepard Middle School

    9th  – 12th grade competition:  Donna Tong from University of Chicago Laboratory School




    CCEW 2020


    The ACS Chicago Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) celebrates Chemists Celebrate Earth Week every year.  Even though we can’t do outreach right now, we want to give ideas on how you can help celebrate the Earth this week.

    Ideas of help celebrate Chemists Celebrate Earth Day:

    • Please check us out on our YouTube channel - Chemistry Community Outreach Chicago. We have videos featuring some simple demonstrations and experiments, challenges, and book readings. In the future, we hope to expand the selection of experiments and demonstrations, but hoping to expand to videos about local chemists and their jobs. Some of the videos found on YouTube are as follows:
    • Poetry Contest: Contest rules and entry form can be downloaded on this page.  Please note the entries are now due May 3rd by 11:59pm.  Please send entries to Sherri Rukes at [email protected]
    • Check out the activities you can do at home to teach your littles one some interesting things about chemistry. Activities can be found in a google folder.  Please remember to practice proper safety and always do experiments with an adult.  All experiments are done with supplies that you can get at grocery stores or hardware stores. A selection of activities that are found in the folder include:
      • Gaviscon Snakes
      • Milk Rainbow Experiment
      • Marbling Paper
      • A rusting ship
      • CCEW magazine both English and Spanish version
      • 2020 - CCEW - chemcatcher
      • 2020 CCEW coloring book
    • Go to some other sites that have activities and ideas for you to do with your kids:




    Join the Chicago Local Section of the American Chemical Society for a free community event to celebrate National Chemistry Week. This event is for children of all ages. Learn about this year’s theme, Marvelous Metals and the Periodic Table, with numerous exciting hands-on activities and tours.


    OCTOBER 19th, 2019 from 10am – 3pm


    2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

    Getting there:

    Transit (from loop): 

    • Metra: Go to the Ogilvie Transportation Center and take the UP-N line to Davis St/Evanston. Transfer to the 201 Bus. Get off after 6 stops, at Sheridan/Haven to reach the destination.
    • CTA: Take the northbound red line to Howard and transfer to the purple line. Get off at Noyes. Walk about 0.4 miles eastward on Noyes St to reach the destination.



    • From the loop: Follow Lake Shore Drive northbound until Sheridan Rd. Take Sheridan Rd northbound until you reach the destination.
    • From North Chicago: Take the Skokie Highway Southbound/I-94 East until seeing signs for Lake Ave. Follow Lake Ave east until Sheridan Rd. Follow Sheridan Rd southbound until you reach the destination.

    Questions, please contact Sherri Rukes at [email protected]

    We hope to see you there!

    NCW 2019 Illustrated Poetry Contest

    Congradulations to the winner Monica Busza Grade 12 Lyons Township High School

    2019 Winning Poem


    The Chicago Local Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is sponsoring an illustrated poetry contest for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Winners of the Local Section’s contest will advance to the National Illustrated Poetry Contest for a chance to be featured on the ACS website and to win more prizes!

    Contest Deadline: Monday October 28th 2019

    Prizes will be awarded to the winning entry in four age groups

    THEME = "Marvelous Metals"

    Poetry Contest 





    Poetry Contest Entry Form:  

    Please email poetry contest entries to: [email protected]; Deadline: October 28, 2019

    Community Activities Subcommittee

    The Community Activities Subcommittee organizes, arranges, and participates in Section outreach events in the greater Chicago area.  Two of the feature events are Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) and National Chemistry Week (NCW).  To support these outreach events, the subcommittee also judges the poetry contests and other contests.  Some of the other events that the subcommittee supports are: DuPage Expo, GEMS programming, Scouts programs, K – 12 school events, and many other contests and events.

    Community Activities Committee Chair

    Sherri Conn Rukes
    Libertyville High School