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. 

    Slime Gone Wild

    Kids, what is it about slime that captivates everyone?  There are so many slime varieties available now that I challenge you to create your very own.  Here are some examples to get your creative juices flowing. 

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

    Chocolate slime

    This is the ultimate edible slime! You need a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, and 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. In a saucepan over low heat, stir the milk, syrup and cornstarch. Stir and heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let the slime cool. When you are finished playing with the chocolate slime, it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for a day or two. Chocolate will stain some surfaces, so keep this slime away from clothing or furniture.

    Translucent Ectoplasm Slime

    You need 1 teaspoon soluble fiber (such as Metamucil psyllium), 1 cup water, food coloring and/or glow paint. Pour the water and fiber into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir, and microwave for another 3 minutes. Stir. If you want drier ectoplasm, microwave for 1-2 minutes. Add a drop of food coloring and/or glow paint. Interesting effects happen if you incompletely mix them, such as multicolored ectoplasm or ectoplasm slime with glowing streaks. Stored in a sealed baggie this will last for up to a week.

    Electroactive Slime

    This interesting slime reacts to electrical charge (like a charged balloon, plastic comb, or piece of styrofoam) as if it has a life of its own. You’ll need 3/4 c (175 ml) cornstarch, 2 c (475 ml) vegetable oil, a glass, and 1x6x6 inch styrofoam. Mix the cornstarch and vegetable oil in the glass. Refrigerate until chilled. Stir (separation is normal). Let it warm enough to flow. Charge a block of styrofoam by rubbing it on hair, carpet, or wool.  Tip the container of slime. Place the charged styrofoam about an inch from the flowing slime. It should stop flowing and seem to gel! If you wiggle the styrofoam the slime may follow or pieces of it may break off. When the styrofoam is removed the slime will continue to flow. After use, refrigerate slime in a sealed container.


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



    These recipes, with photos, and others (such as Fruity Kool-Aid Slime, Edible Goo Slime, and tasty edible slime) can be found at: Anne Marie Helmenstine’s

    See the ChemShorts columns from April 1993, May & December 1994, February 2005, and January 2008 for similar ooey-gooey materials.  They go into more detail about the chemistry behind the magic.