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. 

    A STAMPede!

    Printing presses use rubber rollers to pick up ink and apply it to the surface of paper. Because of the chemicals that make up rubber, it has a way of picking up ink and then releasing the ink to paper. Rubber works because of the unique interactions between molecules in rubber and the molecules in ink and paper. So why can an eraser rub out pencil marks from paper? Because the attraction between rubber and graphite (pencil lead) is stronger than that between paper and graphite.

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

    Now let's make our own rubber stamps. Cut out a 5 cm square of cardboard. Draw a line down the middle of a rectangular pink school eraser. Now draw a simple shape (star or heart) on both the cardboard and on one-half of the eraser using a ball point pen. Fill in the shapes with a lot of ink to make them dark. Press the shapes down hard on a piece of white paper. Which one prints better? On the other half of the eraser draw a simple picture such as a flower or tree using red, blue and green ball point pens. See how many good clear prints you can make on your paper without re-inking the eraser.

    Use another eraser to make a stamp of your name. To have your name come our correctly when you print it, you have to write it backwards on the eraser. Add some designs around your name using different colors; be creative and have fun!


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


    Reference: "Wonderscience", 1993, 7(8), p.5.