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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. 

    Fried Green Egg

    Kids, how can adding something purple to something white make something green? Red cabbage juice contains a natural pH indicator that changes color from purple to green under basic (alkaline) conditions. You can use this reaction to make a fried green egg. First, with the help of an adult partner, prepare the red cabbage pH indicator. 1. Coarsely chop about a half cup of red cabbage. 2. Microwave the cabbage in a bowl until it is soft (about 4 minutes). 3. Allow the cabbage to cool in the bowl. 4. When cool, collect the juice in a cup. You can get more juice by wrapping the cabbage in a coffee filter or paper towel and squeezing. 

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

    Now, have your adult partner fry an egg. 1. Spray a pan with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. 2. Crack an egg and separate the egg white from the yolk. Set the yolk aside. 3. In a small bowl, mix the egg white with a small amount of red cabbage juice. Did you see the color change? The more you mix, the more uniform the green color will be. 4. Add the egg white mixture to the hot pan. Set the egg yolk in the middle of the egg. Fry it and eat it like you would any other egg. Yum!

    Here is how it works. The pigments in red cabbage are called anthocyanins. These pigments change color in response to changes in pH, which is a measure of how acidic or basic something is. Red cabbage juice is purplish-red under acidic conditions (pH less than 7), but changes to a blue-green color under alkaline conditions (pH greater than 7). Egg whites are alkaline (pH ~9) so when you mix the red cabbage juice into the egg white the pigment changes color. The pH does not change as the egg is cooked so the color is stable. It's also edible, so you can eat the fruits of your labor! 

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

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    References: Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine at http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryhowtoguide/a/friedgreenegg.htm.
    For a video see http://www.metacafe.com/watch/938777/green_egg_trick/