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. 

    What's the Matter? 

    Matter is another word for the material that makes up all the stuff in the whole world. The three forms, or states, of matter are solids, liquids, and gases. One very useful thing about matter is the way it can change between it's forms. In this activity you'll watch matter change from one state to another!

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

    You'll need ice, 3 clear plastic cups, water, a measuring cup, masking tape, ballpoint pen, paper towels, and a really humid day. Use the masking tape and pen to label the cups A, B, and C. Place 1/2 cup cold water in each cup. Wipe the outside of the cups with the paper towels to insure they are dry. Leave cup A alone as your control experiment. Add one ice cube to cup B. Fill cup C with ice until it is nearly full. Let them sit 5 minutes. Look at the outside of the cups. Describe what you see, then use your finger to test for any liquid on the outside of the cups. What is this liquid and where did it come from?

    What's happening here? You are watching a gas change to a liquid as a result of condensation. The liquid came from water vapor (water in its gaseous state) in the air, which has condensed to form liquid on the surface of the cold cup. Does one cup seem to have more liquid on the outside than another? Why do you think it does?


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    August-September 1997


    Reference: WonderScience, 1997, 11(5).