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. 

    Homemade Lemon-Lime Soda

    Kids, you can make a bubbly lemon, lemon-lime, or orange soda that is actually pretty tasty. You'll need a lemon, lime, or orange, and a glass, water, baking soda, and sugar. 

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

    This is what you do: squeeze the juice from a lemon or orange into the glass. If you want the lemon-lime taste, add some juice from a lime to the lemon juice. According to how much juice you were able to get, add an equal amount of water. Stir in a teaspoon of baking soda, and observe what happens. Check out the taste, then add sugar if you like (or some other sweetener), tweaking the ingredients until it tastes perfect to you. Actually, any citrus fruit will do. If you happen to like grapefruit, you could also try one of these alone or in combination with one of the other fruits mentioned.

    What's happening here? You are watching a gas being created by a reaction in-a-glass. The baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3 ), is reacting with citric acid from the juice to create carbon dioxide gas. This is why you need a citrus fruit for this experiment. All sodas get their fizz from trapped carbon dioxide (CO2 ) bubbles, although it is usually added via pressurization. In other words, the bubbles in real soda are created by carbon dioxide gas that is added under pressure to a solution of water and a flavored sweetener, and that's all there is to soda-pop!


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


    Reference: Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials, by Muriel Mandell, 1989, Sterling Publishing Co., NY.