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. 

    Operation Glue

    Kids, what do Little Miss Muffet's curds & whey have in common with glue? Just what is a curd, anyway? Curds are a milk protein called casein (a natural organic polymer) which actually has a lot of industrial uses. One of them is a key ingredient in Elmer's Glue-All. In Operation Glue, YOU can produce glue from milk using ordinary household products.

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

    Place 1/2 cup skim milk in a glass or jar. Add 1/8 cup vinegar and stir for a few minutes. Small lumps, which are curds, will form. Let them settle for a few minutes, then pour off as much liquid (the "whey") as possible. Filter the remainder through a cheesecloth until the curds are dry, and return them to the glass. Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for neutralization) to the curds, and mix. If the glue is too thick add a few drops of water. Now test your glue with a few pieces of paper.

    Notes: The process of separating curds from whey is very similar to the making of cottage cheese. Do not save the glue. Wash up with water. Whole milk will not work because the fat molecules precipitate with the casein and interfere with the glue structure, making it too weak.   


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    April 1992