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. 

    A Chemistry Scavenger Hunt 

    Kids, tell your teacher that you would like your class to do a chemistry scavenger hunt! These are really popular assignments where students are asked to identify or bring in items that fit a description. Examples of scavenger hunt items are below. Many of these topics have been tackled in our previous 150+ columns. A partial list of possible “answers” to 5 items is also provided – you can find more at the website below.

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

    First, start with the clues. Find:

    1. An element
    2. A heterogeneous mixture
    3. A homogenous mixture
    4. A gas-liquid solution
    5. A malleable substance
    6. A solid-liquid solution
    7. A substance that has a volume of 1 cm3
    8. An edible example of a physical change
    9. An edible example of a chemical change
    10. A pure compound containing ionic bonds
    11. A pure compound with covalent bonds
    12. A mixture that can be separated by filtration
    13. A substance with a density less than 1g/mL
    14. A substance with a density more than one
    15. An acid
    16. A metal
    17. A non-metal
    18. Immiscible liquids
    19. A base with a pH greater than 9
    20. A polymer

    Sample answers:

    1. aluminum foil, copper wire, aluminum can, iron nail

    4. a soda

    5. play-doh or modeling clay

    7. sugar cube

    8. melting ice cream


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    October 2007


    Reference: Anne Marie Helmenstine