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    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. 

    ChemLinks for Kids

    Kids, in this column we¹ll put together some of our favorite internet sites for chemistry experiments and learning activities at the elementary school level. This is so that you have something to do in between our monthly columns! One of our favorite resources through the years has been the American Chemical Society magazine WonderScience. It is now published solely on the web at www.acs.org/wondernet. Activities investigate topics in science through fun, safe, and easy experiments using inexpensive materials found in the home or grocery store. 

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

    A very appealing and information-loaded site is hosted by www.miamisci.org. Within their "Education" link is an "On-Line Educational Resources (SLN)" link to such on-line activities as pH and "The Atoms Family", which deals with energy concepts. Both feature highly interactive portraits that are just right for K-5. The Minnetonka Science Center is loaded with teacher tools and ooey, gooey recipes for K-5 science (Gak, Oobleck, Slime, even a singing cake). Start at www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/science and proceed to "Teacher Information". This site also contains useful science fair information. Check out the lesson plans at this science connection: http://student.biology.arizona.edu/sciconn/. They include density of cereals, crime scene investigations with paper chromatography, and oobleck and glurch, all for grades 3 and up. Now that you¹ve made some Oobleck, hop to the Jefferson Labs site for ideas on what to do with it: http://education.jlab.org and click on the "BEAMS" program for grades 6-8 activities. There are also great periodic table and element games on-line here.

    A refresher about atoms, elements and matter is hosted at www.chem4kids.com. Also provided for an advanced student are sections on math and chemical reactions. "Project Primary" at www.owu.edu/~mggrote/pp/chemistry/f_chemistry.html has K-3 activities on polymers, kitchen chemistry, and liquid nitrogen ice cream. A great site for minerals, soils, and clays can be found at http://cms.lanl.gov/K_12.html. Numerous links are summarized as well as downloadable activities. Wonderful kid sites that contain a lot of elementary science information, including some on chemistry, are Bill Nye's (BillNye.com), Beakman & Jax (www.beakman.com) and Marshall Brain's (www.howstuffworks.com, see the Chemistry link). 

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