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. 

    Council Report 2019 #1 National Meeting Orlando

    Report of Council Meeting held in the Spring of 2019

    The 257th National Meeting of the ACS was held in Orlando, FL, March 31 – April 4, 2019. The theme of this meeting was “Chemistry for New Frontiers.” The Chicago Section was represented at Council by the following nine councilors: Charles Cannon (Local Section Activities), Ken Fivizzani (Community Activities), Russell Johnson (Chemistry and Public Affairs), Michael Kohler (Chemical Safety), Fran Kravitz (Ethics), Josh Kurutz (Alternate Councilor), Margy Levenberg (Meetings and Expositions), Milt Levenberg (Senior Chemists), and Inessa Miller.

    Finances: In 2018, ACS generated a net from operations of $41.1 million, which was $13.3 million higher than 2017. Total revenues were $571.6 million, increasing 6.4% ($34.2 million) over 2017. Expenses ended the year at $530.5 million, which was $20.8 million (4.1%) higher than the prior year. These results were attributable to strong performance from the Society’s Information Service units (CAS and ACS Publications) and a continued emphasis on expense management across the ACS. The Council voted to set the member dues for 2020 at the 2019 rate of $175.

    Governance: The Council selected H. N. Cheng and Carol A. Duane as candidates for 2020 President Elect. These two candidates, along with any petition candidates, will stand for election in the 2019 Fall National Election.

    Meetings and Expositions: As of Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the 257th ACS National Meeting had attracted 15,605 registrants, including 7887 regular attendees and 6019 student attendees. In addition, it was reported that there were 12,830 scientific contributions at this meeting. There were 369 booths in the Exposition.

    Membership Affairs: The ACS ended 2018 with 151,012 members, a net membership growth of 0.001%. This is the first membership growth ACS has recorded in the better part of a decade. Of the 25,000 new members who joined in 2018, about 20% were incentivized by market testing initiatives. Without these new members, ACS would have seen continued declines. Council voted to extend the provision of the international dues discount test based on World Bank country income levels for an additional three years (August 2019 – August 2022).

    Councilor Divisor: The Council Policy Committee has set the divisors for allocation of Councilor seats among Local Sections and Divisions for 2020 to 2023. Official notification of the Councilor divisors and the number of Councilors permitted for each Local Section and Division were sent to the respective Local Sections and Divisions. (Post-meeting note: as a result of new divisors, the Chicago Section has lost one seat in Council. We will have nine Councilors going forward.)

    Council Special Discussion: This meeting’s special discussion topic was ACS Relevance to Current and Future Members: Challenges and Opportunities. Councilors provided many recommendations and suggestions including increased support for local sections and industry members, helping student members transition into their professional careers, and implementing a monthly payment tool for ACS dues. All submitted ideas and input will be shared with the Committee on Membership Affairs and the ACS Membership Division for further research or implementation.

    If you have any questions or comments about the above information, please contact me or one of your other councilors. You may contact me at [email protected].

    Ken Fivizzani