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. 

    Turn a Smartphone into a 3-D Viewer

    September, 2015:

    Kids, would you like to tinker with hologram-like images in the comfort of our own home? You can create amazing 3D visions that can be projected from your smartphone. 

    Here is what you'll need:

    • Graph paper
    • CD case
    • Tape
    • Pen
    • Scissors
    • Smartphone
    • Box cutter (for an adult partner)

    First you need to draw a perfect Isosceles Trapezoid shape on the graph paper. The dimensions are 1 cm x 3.5 cm x 6 cm. Next, take off the sides of the CD case, place the trapezoid template on top, and have an adult partner cut out the shape with the box cutter. Once the first trapezoid is cut out, your adult partner can use this as a template to cut out three more just like it. This is difficult to cut and takes some skill. As an alternative, there is a link to buying a pre-made reflector (

    Fasten the four plastic trapazoid shapes together in an open pyramid-shaped vase using some tape (glue doesn't work well); tape the 3.5 cm sides together. To start projecting images, you'll need to load hologram-specific videos from YouTube, and Mrwhosetheboss links to a few of these on his YouTube page. For example, for blue jellyfish go to

    Place the phone flat on the table, load the video, and place the pyramid vase on top. Turn off the lights and you'll see a full, 360-degree animated visual from the side, level with the table. Here's a video of the construction. 

    A hologram is a photographic recording of a light field. The hologram itself is not an image. It is an encoding of the light field as an interference pattern. When suitably lit, the interference pattern diffracts light into a reproduction of the original light field and the objects that were in it appear to still be there. Holography should not be confused with other 3D display technologies, which can produce similar results but are based on conventional lens imaging.


    Editor, Dr. Kathleen Carrado Gregar, Argonne National Laboratory