Outreach and Education Division

    The EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DIVISION supports chemistry education at all levels, including K-12, college, and adult/continuing education. It maintains liaisons to the Chicago Public Schools and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT). The Division engages the general public in chemistry-related educational activities, participates in ACS activities at the annual Illinois State Fair, and publicizes all events and news-related content. The division oversees the annual Project SEED program for the Section as well as the Project SEED scholarships. The Division also assists public officials and other community bodies concerning chemistry-related matters. The Education and Outreach Division includes the Education, Outreach, Project SEED, and Public Affairs Committees.

    The EDUCATION COMMITTEE provides chemistry-related educational programs and information to learners of all ages and actively engages with educators at the pre-K-12 and college levels. Subcommittees include:

    • AACT Liaison
    • College Education Subcommittee
    • Continuing Education Subcommittee
    • Chicago School Board Liaison
    • K - 12 Education Subcommittee


    The PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ensures that section members and public officials and bodies are informed of matters where the knowledge and practice of chemistry is of substantial public importance. These matters can include government issues, environmental issues and the social responsibility of chemists. The Public Affairs Committee gives the Public Affairs Award biennially.

    The OUTREACH COMMITTEE engages the general public, educators and children in chemistry-related educational activities and participates in many different types of events around the greater Chicago area.   Subcommittees include:

    • Community Activities Subcommittee
    • Illinois State Fair Subcommittee


    PROJECT SEED COMMITTEE identifies interested low-income and/or minority high school junior and senior students who are interested in participating in a paid summer research experience with  a college or university faculty member.  It supports financial and logistical concerns for the student/ faculty relationships and communicating  relevant program information to the national ACS organization.  The committee is also responsible for distributing Project SEED awards to support the internships. 

    Experiments with Yeast ­ Part III of III

    Kids, did you make your own bread from yeast according to the last few columns? We hope you did, but if not you can still do quite a few experiments with store bought yeast. The first experiment here tests how sugar effects the growth of yeast. Fill two 1-cup glass measuring cups with 1/2 cup warm water. In one cup, add 1 tsp sugar. Put 1/4 ounce package of active dry yeast in each cup, stir, and wait 10 minutes. Which cup has more yeast foam and why? Is sugar necessary for the growth of yeast and why?

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    Is yeast alive? Make a yeast solution using 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast. Each day, transfer 1 tsp of original yeast solution to a solution of 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tsp sugar. Make another sugar solution and add 1 tsp water daily. Keep a record of observations for five days. Does the yeast culture continue to multiply even though it is diluted by the daily transfer?

    When flour, sugar, water, and yeast are mixed, what happens? Get two empty 1-liter soda bottles and two balloons. Fill each soda bottle with a 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 cup room temperature water. In one bottle, add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour. Secure a balloon on top of each soda bottle. Record and time what happens to the balloons. What is the difference between them? Does flour make a difference in the length of time the fermenation works and why?

    What effect does temperature have on the fermentation of yeast? Again get two empty 1-liter soda bottles and two balloons. Fill each bottle with a 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, and 1 cup room temperature water. Set one bottle in a vessel with warm water. Set the other bottle in a vessel with ice water. Secure a balloon on top of each soda bottle. Observe and record results. What effect does temperature have on the fermentation of yeast? When was the difference most noticeable? Read over the last two columns for interesting facts concerning yeast and they will also help you answer the questions asked here.


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    February 2001


    Reference: ("The Science of Yeast" webpage). For microscopic photos of budding yeast cells check out: or