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. 

    Carbonated Fizzy Fruit

    Safety Tips

    * Dry ice is very cold so don't touch or eat it; leave all handling to an adult partner who should wear non-plastic gloves and use tongs.

    * Don't ever seal dry ice into a closed container.

    * Freshly frozen fizzy fruit is the same temperature as dry ice (around -109°F) so allow it to warm a bit before consuming it.


    Kids, what could make pieces of fruit act like fizzy ice cubes?   Carbon dioxide!   Using dry ice, which is the solid form of CO2, fruit can be filled with tingly carbon dioxide bubbles, like a soda. All you need for this is dry ice, fruit, and a plastic bowl.

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

    1. First, carbonate the fruit. Use dry ice that’s in relatively small chunks, like pellets or chips. If you have big chunks, have an adult partner place the dry ice in a paper bag or cover it with a dishcloth and whack it (gently) with a hammer. You want to break it into pieces, not pulverize it.
    2. Dry ice quickly sublimes into carbon dioxide gas. As this happens, the gas is pushed into the fruit. Thinner slices or pieces of fruit will become more saturated with carbon dioxide bubbles than larger pieces. You can use whole grapes or strawberries, but anything larger needs to be sliced, such as apples or bananas.
    3. Place some dry ice pellets in a bowl. Set the fruit on the dry ice. You can add more dry ice on top if you wish.
    4. Allow 10-15 minutes for the dry ice to sublime. The fruit will become carbonated and freeze at the same time. Use tongs to handle the pieces.
    5. Eat the fizzy fruit, use it in recipes or add it to drinks as “ice cubes”. The fruit will remain fizzy as it thaws, but it should be used within an hour because it will lose its bubbles.

    What’s going on? Sublimation is a transition directly from the solid phase to gas phase without going through a liquid stage. Vaporization, on the other hand, is a phase transition from the liquid phase to gas phase, and includes both evaporation and boiling.

    Tip: Some Meijer stores sell dry ice behind their counters, and you can try some ice cream stores for their supply.   In the Chicago area you can also check and


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    January 2009


    Reference: Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine at: