Articles

    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. 

    Designer Safety Goggles

     

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

    Kids, do you have a pair of safety goggles from a chemistry kit or a science fair? You can even buy a cheap pair at a hardware store. These goggles serve a necessary safety function, but everyone knows how unattractive they are (okay, "nerdy"). One way to jazz them up is to tint the frames in a variety of colors. Use a packaged fabric dye (such as Rit) that can be found in grocery stores. Make up the dye solution according to the directions on the package, and have your adult partner keep it warm on the stove. The goggles are put in here for a few minutes until you have the tint you like. There is some beautiful chemistry involved in the dyeing process. The poly(vinyl chloride) frames become tinted while the polycarbonate lenses are not colored. One package of dye will in fact tint dozens of goggles.

    Did you know that these dyes are used by optical supply companies to tint regular eyeglasses? The dyes are azo and anthraquinone compounds that produce no skin irritation, and are neither caustic nor toxic. If you get some dye on your skin flush with water; any staining is harmless. Get creative and tint your goggles to match clothing or to match a holiday, like orange and black for Halloween.

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    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    January 1994

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    Reference: J. W. Hill and C. A. Harmes, J. Chem. Ed. 1993, 70(9), 779.