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. 

    Eggy Bubbles

    Kids, do eggshells have tiny holes?  This easy science experiment focuses on some of the interesting characteristics of eggs.   Prove the existence of a small air pocket inside an egg as well as thousands of small holes in the shell, called pores, all while learning what air does as it is heated.

    What you'll need:

    • A clear glass or jar, such as Pyrex™, that won't break with the sudden addition of hot water
    • An adult partner to handle hot water 
    • A pan of hot water. It shouldn't be so hot as to be a hazard to work with
    • A raw egg
    • A magnifying glass

    • Place the egg carefully into the glass or jar.
    • Carefully pour hot water into the glass or jar until it is nearly full.
    • Leave the glass or jar on a table and watch the egg closely for a few minutes; the glass may become hot so be careful.
    • Use your magnifying glass to closely examine what is happening.
    What's happening?

    After surrounding the egg with hot water you will notice tiny bubbles forming on the eggshell which eventually bubble their way to the surface of the water. An egg contains a small air pocket at its wider end between the shell (calcium carbonate) and the egg white (albumin). When the air trapped inside this small pocket begins to heat up, it expands and tries to find a way out of the shell. How does it escape?

    They're too small to see under normal conditions, but with the help of a magnifying glass you can see that egg shells contain thousands of small holes, called pores. The pores allow air to pass through the shell, making it look like the egg is bubbling as the air expands and is forced through the shell.

    Bumpy and grainy in texture, an eggshell is covered with as many as 17,000 tiny pores. An eggshell is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals. It is a "semipermeable membrane", which means that air and water can pass through its pores. The shell also has a thin outermost coating called the bloom or cuticle that helps keep out bacteria and dust.  Do a Google Images search for "egg shell pores" and you'll be amazed at the images you see.