Articles

    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. 

    International Year of Chemistry

    Kids, The International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) is already half over! It’s been a great year so far and there’s more to come. This recognition for chemistry was made official by the United Nations in December 2008.

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

    IYC is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. Under the theme “Chemistry—our life, our future”, it offers interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages. The goals are to increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, to encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and to generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry.

    IYC 2011 events emphasize that chemistry is a creative science essential for sustainability and improvements to our way of life. Activities such as lectures, exhibits, and hands-on experiments, explore how chemical research is critical for solving our most vexing global problems involving food, water, health, energy, transportation, and more.  The IYC holds a full list of events on its website and include: - conferences, congresses, symposia, fairs, exhibitions, expositions, grand openings, lectures, meetings, open discussions, workshops, celebrations, shows, art exhibitions, and quizzes.

    Examples of the American Chemical Society IYC activities (go to www.acs.org) include the monthly IYC Virtual Journal. Each issue features free access to 15 to 20 articles from ACS’s 39 journals and C&EN that illustrate the many ways in which chemistry improves life for people around the world. And “365: Chemistry for Life” features a chemistry highlight for each day of the year.  Day 178, for example, features an essay on the origins of the oil industry.

    Other organizations are also celebrating chemistry during IYC. The National Science Foundation has teamed up with NBC Learn and the National Science Teachers Association to create “Chemistry Now” a weekly online video series that explains the chemistry of everyday molecules like water and chemical principles such as chirality in a clever and easy-to-understand fashion.

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    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    September 2011

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    References: 
    Official website: http://www.chemistry2011.org/

    Chemical & Engineering News Cover Story, 6/26/11:
    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/89/8926cover.html