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. 

    Giant Bubbles

    Kids, you can make gigantic soap bubbles with a mixture of liquid soap or detergent, glycerin, and water. The glycerin is the secret ingredient that adds strength to the bubble solution. Mix together 1 part soap with 1 part glycerin and 6 parts water (distilled water works best). Pour into a large tray or cookie sheet.

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

    Form a 12-inch circle with a handle out of stiff wire about the diameter of coat-hanger wire. You can try an actual coat hanger, but they are often coated to prevent rusting; this coating prevents the bubble solution from clinging to the wire. Dip the wire circle into the bubble solution and bring it out at an angle so that a film of solution fills the inside of the circle. Now sweep the wire through the air to form a large bubble. A twist at the end of the sweep helps to loosen the bubble from the wire.

    A bubble is really three bubbles in one. There's an outside layer of water, a middle layer of soap and glycerin, and an inner layer of water. When bubbles these big break, they leave a lot of soap behind. Be prepared to wipe it up (cleaning the floor at the same time!), or make your bubbles outside. 


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    November 1993


    Reference: "Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science", Don Herbert, 1980, p. 48.