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. 

    Mae Jemison, M.D., astronaut

    As an astronaut, M.D., chemical engineer, ACS member, and dancer, Chicago native Dr. Mae Jemison is out of this world! #blackhistorymonth

    At 16, she graduated CPS' Morgan Park High School and went to Stanford University, earning a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1977 while also pursuing Afro-American Studies and choreographing musical theater. After earning an MD from Weill Cornell Medicine (while also visiting Cuba, Kenya, and Thailand to provide medical care) in 1981, Jemison served in the Peace Corps in Africa, supervising lab, pharmacy, and medical staff.

    Most famously, Jemison was the first African-American woman in space. As mission specialist on Space Shuttle STS-47, she conducted research on bone cells, zero-gravity fertilization, and other projects. "The first thing I saw from space was Chicago, my hometown". Inspired by Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek, she began every shift with the fictional officer's popular phrase, "Hailing frequencies open."

    Today, Jemison is a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, principal of the 100 Year Starship (joint between NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - DARPA), Director on the boards of biotech companies, author, public speaker, dancer with her own studio, occasional actress (the ONLY real astronaut to appear on Star Trek), and...who knows what else!

    Learn more about this extraordinary human at: