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. 

    Apples with Appeal


    When Archie cuts up apples,
    The slices all turn brown.
    They don't look very yummy,
    Which makes his buddies frown.
    But Archie is a good cook
    Who knows a special way
    To stop the color changing
    At any time of day!

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

    Kids, if you want to test out Archie's secret, you'll need paper towels, paper, 3 fresh apple wedges, lemon juice, and water. Spread out the paper towels. Make a large chart on the paper with columns of "water", "lemon juice", and "nothing". Place the apple wedges on the chart, one for each column. Pour some water on the first wedge, lemon juice on the second, and do nothing to the third. Wait one hour and observe your apples. What has happened? Do you know why? When it's protective skin is gone, certain substances in an apple will react with oxygen in the air and turn brown. Citric acid in the lemon juice has stopped the reaction of oxygen that turns the apple brown. This trick of using lemon juice, or orange juice, is used by Archie and many other cooks to keep apples, bananas, and other fruit looking good for fruit salads, etc.!


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


    Taken From: Apples, Bubbles, and Crystals: Your Science ABCs, by A. Bennett & J. Kessler, 1996, McGraw-Hill, NY.