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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. 

    Blow Frozen Bubbles

    Kids, there are some incredible frozen bubble photos on-line that are amazing. You too can blow bubbles that freeze into delicate frost patterns. You can even pick up the bubbles and examine them before they pop. All you need is bubble solution, a bubble wand, and a cold winter day (below freezing, at least).

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

    It helps if you blow the bubbles close to a cold surface, so they don't freeze in the air and break upon landing. You can catch bubbles on mittens/gloves or on snow or ice. You should see a frost pattern forms on the bubble surface. The bubbles will eventually pop, but with a bit of practice you should be able to pick them up and examine them first.

    The frost creates magical patterns in the freezing bubbles. The smaller ones may freeze momentarily in mid-air, and then fall down and scatter like thin glass chips. The bigger ones should freeze more slowly on the surface.  Photographer Angela Kelly noted "...how they would freeze completely before the sun rose but that once the sun was in view they would defrost along the tops or cease freezing altogether.  We also noted how they would begin to deflate and implode in on themselves making them look like alien shapes or in some cases shatter completely leaving them to look like a cracked egg.”

    Any bubble solution will work. You can make your own detergent and water solution or make stronger bubbles using glycerin or corn syrup.  See the June 2013 issue of ChemShorts for Kids for the best recipes.  If you don't have seriously cold winter, your other option is to blow bubbles over dry ice (see below for a link with directions on how to do this).

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    References:

    Angela Kelly, http://www.boredpanda.com/frozen-bubbles-winter-photography-angela-kelly/
    Anne Marie Helmenstine, About.com Chemistry, http://chemistry.about.com/od/bubbles/fl/Frozen-Bubbles-Blow-Bubbles-in-Winter.htm
    ChemShorts June 2013 bubble recipes:  http://chicagoacs.net/ChmShort/CS13.html
    Make frozen bubbles using dry ice:  http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/a/aa012004.htm