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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. 

    Bubble Prints

    Kids, let’s pop colored bubbles onto a piece of paper to make bubble prints. Bubble prints are like fingerprints except made with bubbles. You can make bubble prints and learn about how bubbles are shaped and how pigments combine to make different colors. 

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

    Bubble prints are made by adding color to a bubble solution, blowing bubbles, and pressing paper onto the bubbles. You need brightly-colored bubbles in order to get a good picture. Tempera paint powder works really well, but you can substitute other water-soluble paints if you like.   Here’s everything you need:   bubble solution (buy it or make your own), tempera paint powder, white paper, straws, and some small plates.

    First make your colored bubble solution. Pour a little bubble solution into a plate. Stir in paint powder until you have a thick paint. You want the thickest paint you can get, yet still able to make bubbles from it.  If you get the three primary colors of tempera paint then you can mix them in order to make other colors. You can add black or white paint, too.

    Make Bubble Prints

    1. Put the straw into the colored bubble solution and blow bubbles.  It may help to tilt the dish slightly. You can experiment with a few large bubbles versus many small bubbles.
    2. Touch the bubbles with a sheet of paper. Don't press the paper down into the paint - just catch the impressions of the bubbles.
    3. You can switch between colors. For multicolored bubbles, add two colors together but don't mix them. Blow bubbles into the un-mixed solutions.

    Learn About Bubbles

    Bubbles consist of a thin film of soapy water filled with air. When you blow a bubble, the film expands outward. The forces acting cause it to form the shape that encloses the most volume with the least surface area -- a sphere. Look at the bubble prints that you have made. When bubbles stack, do they remain spheres?   Probably not, because when two bubbles meet they will merge their walls to minimize their surface area. If bubbles that are the same size meet, then the wall that separates them will be flat. If bubbles that are different sizes meet, then the smaller bubble will bulge into the large bubble. Bubbles meet to form walls at an angle of 120°. If enough bubbles meet, the cells will form hexagons.   Can you can see this structure in the images you’ve made? 

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

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    References:  Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine at http://chemistry.about.com/od/bubbles/a/bubbleprints.htm