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. 


    Kids, a while back we learned how to make slime in this column. Now it is time to make GACK, a similar material that is made from easy-to-find ingredients.  


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

     In one container mix 4 oz. Elmer's glue (water-soluble) with 4 oz. water, and set it aside. In another container, mix 1/2 cup of water with one teaspoon borax (which is sodium borate) and stir. Mix the two solutions and add a few drops of food coloring for effect. Mix very well until you have a solid mass.

    Both Gack and Slime are examples of what are called non-Newtonian fluids. Your gack can be kneaded into an elastic, semi-rigid glob that has dramatic physical properties. If the gack is simply suspended from your hand, it will flow and stretch. It can also be stretched by slowly pulling, but it will break if pulled quickly. When placed in a container the gack assumes the shape of the container. Similarly, it will flow into a film on a flat surface.

    This recipe can be easily scaled up to make large quantities of gack. If you want to have enough for all your classmates, for example, two-liter pop bottles can be used to make the two solutions ahead of time. Then use a dishpan to mix the ingredients. It is easiest to simply use your hands to mix up the gack; if you choose this method wear playtex gloves.

    (Safety Tip: Do not eat any of your experiments).


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