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. 

    Who Is This? Chemistry Day 1991 (Nov. 9)

    The Chicago Section archives are rich in photographs. Unfortunately, many are not annotated, so we have no written records identifying who is in them. We need your help elucidating our historical records. If you know (or even suspect you know) the identity of someone in these photos, please send an email to [email protected]. The Historian will then create appropriate records, properly store the photos, and place scans of selected photos in accessible locations online.

    This month, we cover a set of photos taken on Saturday, November 9, 1991. According to the October 1991 Chemical Bulletin, this was the final day of National Chemistry Week, which was celebrated with three days of activities. Day 1 (Nov. 2) included a “Battle of the Burets” (a titration contest), various demonstrations by local teachers, a special “Weird Science” show by Lee Marek and colleagues, exhibits by various companies and organizations, and a talk by David Stoney (McCrone Research Inst.) on “Chemistry in Forensic Science.” Day 2 (Nov. 6) focused on a forum entitled “Chemical & The Public: Today’s Questions, Tomorrow’s Answers”. Day 3, the subject of this set of photos, included several activities:

    • “Interstate Battle of the Burets”
    • Chemistry for Kids of All Ages (demonstrations by Milwaukee and Rock River area teachers – Stan Seelig, organizer)
    • “Chemistry Through the Arts” – a dance performance by students of Columbia College
    • Battle of the Burets award ceremony
    • College Chemistry Bowl (Gayle Marks)
    • “Is It Chemistry or Is It Magic?” by Drs. Otis Rothenberger and Jim Webb (Illinois State U.)

    What we know so far: It is likely that people A and B in the first photo are Drs. Rothenberger and Webb, since the uncropped photos show ISU logos, but we do not know which is whom. The other photos show people receiving awards, but we don’t know which award is being presented in any photo. Some people are ACS figures, and some appear to be teachers with their students. The Bulletin indicates Gayle Marks and John Hand were involved, so they may have been present. It appears Tom Kucera organized the event, and Gayle E. O’Neill was Section Chair at the time, so they may be in some photos.

    If you recognize anyone in these photos please send an email to [email protected] indicating the letter associated with each person and that person’s name. Please feel free to add any other information about the people or events involved! We would love to know employers, types of work they performed, where they earned their degrees, etc. Further, we are eager to hear your stories about attending the event. Please tell stories, reminiscences, etc. and share any photos, programs, or other materials from past ACS events.

    And don’t forget to attend THIS year’s Chemistry Day, October 27 at College of DuPage! It’s history in the making, and it’ll be “Out of This World”!