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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. 

    Make a Color Wheel from Milk

    Kids, if you just add food coloring to milk, not a whole lot happens. However, it only takes one simple ingredient to turn the milk into a swirling color wheel. Here is what you do.

    Materials:

    • 2% or whole milk
    • food coloring
    • dishwashing liquid
    • cotton swab
    • plate

    Instructions:

    • Pour enough milk onto a plate to cover the bottom.
    • Drop food coloring onto the milk. Watch a video (see reference below) so you can see what to expect.
    • Dip a cotton swab in dishwashing detergent liquid.
    • Touch the detergent-coated cotton swab into the milk in the center of the plate.
    • Don't stir the milk; it isn't necessary. The colors will swirl on their own as soon as the detergent contacts the milk.

    How It Works:

    Milk consists of a lot of different types of molecules, including fat, protein, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. If you had just touched a clean cotton swab to the milk (try it!), not much would have happened. The cotton is an absorbent, so you would have created a current in the milk, but you wouldn't have seen anything especially dramatic happen.

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


    When you introduce detergent to the milk, several things happen at once. The detergent lowers the surface tension of the liquid so that the food coloring is free to flow throughout the milk. The detergent reacts with the protein in the milk, altering the shape of those molecules and setting them in motion. There is also a reaction between the detergent and the fat in the milk. This, by the way, is how detergent helps lift grease off dirty dishes. During the reaction, the colorful molecules in the food coloring get pushed around. Eventually equilibrium is reached, but the swirling of the colors continues for a while before stopping.

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    References:
    Anne Marie Helmenstine, About.com Chemistry, 
    http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryhowtoguide/a/magicmilk.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf4HHazghGs