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. 

    Panoply of Periodic Tables

    Kids, what is the most popular chart used by chemists? Elements are the building blocks of all matter, and currently there are about 117 different and unique atoms comprising the elements. There are many ways to arrange the chemical elements into a chart. Mendeleev arranged rows and columns so that elements were grouped according to recurring (periodic) common properties. Mendeleev's table forms the basis for the modern periodic table of the elements, which lists the elements in order of increasing atomic number while grouping them according to periodic properties. But there isn't just 'one' modern periodic table of the elements. Unless you want a table that is impossible to read, there is a limit to the facts provided on each table. Plus, there is more than one way to group the elements. That's why you'll find more than one periodic table of the elements here: 

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

    Clickable Periodic Table of the Elements ( ). Anne Marie Helmenstine has a favorite at Chemistry. You can tell at a glance whether an element is a metal or nonmetal, get its atomic number, determine its usual valence, and click on a symbol for detailed facts; there are also extra links provided. Other common variants can be found with simple internet searches; a nice one that is particular to our age group is:

    Printable Periodic Tables ( ). This is a collection of several different versions of the periodic table to save or print.

    Periodic Table Image Gallery ( ). This link has Mendeleev’s original as well as variations like circular and spiral tables.

    Groups of Elements Periodic Table ( ). If you click a link on this table you get information about the group to which the element belongs.

    Fireworks Periodic Table ( ). Clicking an element will tell you how it is used in fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices.

    Periodic Table sorted by Abundance: In the June 1998 column of ChemShorts for Kids we gave the reference to our article on an activity using the periodic table sorted by abundance on the Earth’s surface: 


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    May 2008