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. 

    Honeycomb Candy - Cooking with CO2

    Kids, honeycomb candy is easy to make and has an interesting texture that is caused by carbon dioxide bubbles trapped inside it. The carbon dioxide is produced when baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is added to a hot simple syrup. The bubbles in the candy make it light and give it a honeycomb appearance.

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


    • 3/4 cup sugar 
    • 2 tablespoons honey 
    • 2 tablespoons water 
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
    • a candy thermometer



    • Grease a cookie sheet using oil, butter, or non-stick cooking spray. 
    • Add the sugar, honey, and water to a saucepan. 
    • Have an adult partner cook the ingredients over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300°F. The sugar will melt, small bubbles will form, the bubbles will become larger, and then the sugar will start to carmelize to an amber color. 
    • When the temperature reaches 300°F, ask your adult partner to remove the pan from heat and whisk the baking soda into the hot syrup. This will cause the syrup to foam up. 
    • Stir just enough to mix the ingredients, and then have your adult partner pour the mixture onto the greased baking sheet. Don’t spread out the candy, as this would cause your bubbles to pop. 
    • Allow the honeycomb candy to cool, then break or cut it into pieces. 
    • Store it in an airtight container. 


    The creation of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas in the candy is the same process that is used in making some baked goods. The honeycomb candy forms a hard shell around the bubbles.

    By Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs
    [email protected]
    May 2014


    By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.