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. 

    Making Paper

    Kids, how would you like to make your own paper? You'll need two full newspaper pages, water, a coat hanger, an old pair of panty hose, two spoonfuls of white glue, a wad of dryer lint, a blender or food processor, and a kitchen sink. 

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

    Keep the hook in the coat hanger but re-shape the triangle to make it into a square. Stretch the panty hose over the wire square and tie knots in the ends (tie it around the hook); clip off the rest of the hose. Tear the newspaper into strips and then into tiny squares. Put the pieces into the blender and add enough water to cover it. You can add the dryer lint for extra texture. Have an adult turn on the blender and watch while it runs for about three minutes. Turn off the blender, put the stopper in your sink, and pour in the gray gunk. Add four or five inches of water, add the glue, and mix it up really well using your hands. Put the wire square in the sink until it's flat on the bottom, then life it out very, very slowly. Very slowly. When it's all the way out, let the water drip out for a whole minute. Hang your square in a dry, warm place until it is completely dried out. Any moisture will wreck your paper, so be patient. Peel your paper off of the square and cut it, write on it, draw on it, do whatever paper-y thing you like.

    Your paper is in fact better than real paper because it's recycled paper! Every ton of paper we recycle can save 13 to 20 harvestable trees. Recycling helps keep the planet in balance, so keep it up!


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    February 1997


    References: "Beakman's World" internet site at: