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. 

    Samuel B Fuller (1905-1988)

    What a pioneer of chemical manufacture! Entrepreneur Samuel B. Fuller (1905-1988) founded the Fuller Products Company and was the first African-American to be inducted into the National Association of Manufacturers. #blackhistorymonth #entrepreneur#chemicalmanufacture

    Impoverished in Louisiana, 9-year old Fuller dropped out of school and began selling products door-to-door. Moving to Chicago in 1928, he managed a coal yard, but eventually returned to door-to-door sales, borrowing $25 to sell soap. Parlaying his success into bigger ventures that satisfied the growing demands of Chicago's burgeoning African-American population during the "Great Migration", Fuller opened his own factory in 1939, making hair care products, deodorant, hosiery, and other items. Sadly, part of his success depended on keeping his identify a secret, as a variety of organizations such as the White Citizens Councils were committed to boycotting businesses owned by African-Americans. 

    Today, Chemistry is the third-largest industry in Illinois (almost the second!). For that, we can thank entrepreneurs like S.B. Fuller. Learn more about him here: