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* For a list of recent and past Bristol ChemLabS Events, click here



A publication on Bristol ChemLabS commissioned by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) has been published and dedicated to the memory of Steve Croker (Lab Manager): Innovative pedagogies series: A dynamic laboratory manual Pre-lab online support for practical Chemistry Dudley E. Shallcross, Jennifer L. Slaughter, Timothy G. Harrison and Nicholas C. Norman University of Bristol


A paper discussing the first 10 years of Bristol ChemLabS has been published by the Royal Society of Chemistry in its ‘Features’ section. Harrison T.G., Norman N.C. and Shallcross D.E., (2016). What can be learnt from the Bristol ChemLabS centre for excellence in teaching and learning 10 years on?, Education in Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry, Volume 53(2), 26-29.


Industrial Placement Training for GSK Undergraduate Placement Chemists

40 undergraduate chemists who were about to start the industrial year of their degree programmes spent 3 days at Bristol ChemLabS in a residential course preparing for them. The students from many universities in the UK, France, Spain and Ireland spent most of the time in the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories using equipment specific to the pharmaceutical industry that they may not have encountered on their own degree courses. Four members of GSK staff worked with four Bristol postgraduate demonstrators and the technical staff team were also involved.


Continued Outreach Liaison with Edith Cowan University, Australia

Following the success of the recent Outreach visit to Perth Bristol ChemLabS will be again working with Dr Magda Wajrak in a proposed expansion of the outreach cooperation in November 2016.


July 2014

Open University students residential courses - 29/07/14

The undergraduate teaching laboratories hosted 73 Open University undergraduate students, as they completed one of two 3 day residential courses held in the teaching labs. Participants had travelled from all over the world to take part in the school, from the UK, Europe and even Malaysia. Full story here


EDF Energy expands it's partnership with Bristol ChemLabS Outreach -24/04/14

Bristol ChemLabS will expand its programme of EDF sponsored primary schools outreach events in Somerset to 10 days in the spring term. This continues the longstanding partnership that also includes secondary school visits to the a School of Chemistry.

'I have just returned from leave and have been hearing all about the fantastic work you have been doing! I hear the assemblies and workshops have been well received' EDF representative.


Outreach Chemistry Practical Work Down Under - 26/03/14

A booklet on ‘Chemical Demonstrations’ has just been published by Cengage Learning (Australia) authored by Dr Magdalena Wajrak (Edith Cowan University) and Tim Harrison. The Harrison section is based on the demonstrations and wet chemistry workshops delivered by Bristol ChemLabS for schools and teachers respectively.


On Line Subject Resources to Support Chemistry Applicants - 22/02/14

Bristol ChemLabS is making available the A level Chemistry LabSkills and the Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manuals in Biological Sciences and Physics to help support UCAS applicants through their final year of school study.  These password protected resources are mainly designed to support practical skills. The resources will also be made available to the 28 ‘Access to Bristol’ widening participation students attending the Chemistry stream during their Year 12 studies.



The DLM Family Expands to Include Pre-University Biology - 30/10/13

Bristol ChemLabS, working with our software partners at Learning Science, have just launched a new member if the DLM family – A level Biology LabSkills. This commercial product designed to support practical work uses the same types of interactive resources as A Level Chemistry LabSkills. Further information and free trails can be found here.




Bristol ChemLabS Primary Outreach Had a Busy Year - 29/08/13 Image Credit Ben Attfield

Against the background of British universities being asked by OFFA to provide more outreach activities for primary schools Bristol ChemLabS Outreach has been taking stock of the recent academic year.

During the academic year 2012-13 Bristol ChemLabS Outreach were engaged at exactly 80 separate events for primary pupils. The majority were also organised by Bristol ChemLabS.

21 different Local Authority areas of England, as well as Northern Ireland Wales and Malta were visited.  Areas from Cornwall through London to Newcastle were visited. Three-quarters of the events took place in the South West of England.

The outreach team delivered 88 demonstration assemblies and lectures, mainly on the science of   ‘Gases in the Air’ which were seen by 16,600 children aged between 4 & 11. In addition ChemLabS ran 55 practical workshops in the primary schools themselves involving 1,800 pupils aged 5-11.

Approximately 900 teachers and teaching assistants saw the assemblies and workshops.

A local Primary Science Coordinator emailed to say "Thanks so much for the amazing assembly and workshops. It was a hit. We've been talking about memories of the past year (as we are approaching summer hols) and ChemLabS has definitely been one of the major highlights!"

Bristol ChemLabS is currently undertaking research into the impact that such outreach events have on primary teachers and pupils.


Steve Croker Recognised by Award Nomination - 20/06/13

Congratulations go to Steve CrokerBristol ChemLabS Technical Laboratory Manager, who was nominated for an award by chemistry undergraduate students at the recent UBU Awards Ceremony.

The award recognises outstanding dedication by a University of Bristol Support Staff Member and celebrates the diverse nature of staff dedication at the University of Bristol. The annual award is judged on the following criteria: considerable commitment to University of Bristol students above and beyond expectations, an innovative approach to the role, transforming student life at the University of Bristol, and feedback from students who have benefited from his involvement. 


Bristol's eBiolabs and Bristol ChemLabS Runners Up in the Inaugural Guardian University Award for Teaching Excellence - 28/02/13

The University of Bristol’s eBiolabs and Bristol ChemLabS were runners up in the first ever Guardian University Awards in the Teaching Excellence category.

The award, sponsored by The Higher Education Academy, acts as a benchmark for excellence and recognises universities that are dedicated to high-quality teaching, including innovation in teaching and learning methods and the introduction of technology in teaching.

Bristol's eBiolabs and Bristol ChemLabS were shortlisted for their innovative web-based, fully interactive Dynamic Laboratory Manuals (DLMs) which support undergraduate laboratory-based teaching and learning with video, fully interactive simulations and virtual instrumentation together with inbuilt pre- and in-laboratory e-assessment and safety training. For a demo of the Bristol ChemLabS DLM click here.

The DLMs have completely replaced the traditional printed lab manuals in chemistry and biochemistry practicals which allows students to practice laboratory methods and techniques online prior to the lab thereby greatly aiding preparation and confidence. By further integrating quizzes, coursework submission and automated marking systems along with instant feedback and attendance tracking, these DLMs have radically changed the student and staff experience. Furthermore, the LabSkills software developed with Bristol-based e-learning company Learning Science Ltd has led to innovative DLM-style products which have been sold to schools and universities in over 30 countries worldwide.

Dr Gus Cameron, eBiolabs Director from the University's School of Biochemistry, said: "We are absolutely delighted to achieve this recognition. Our Dynamic Laboratory Manuals have radically improved both the student and the staff experience in the laboratory and being runners up in this award acts as a very welcome endorsement of all that we have achieved."

Professor Nick Norman, Bristol ChemLabS Chief Executive and Head of the School of Chemistry, said: "ChemLabS and eBiolabs have been recognised by the University of Bristol as one of its most important recent teaching and learning initiatives, and work is underway to further develop this activity in other disciplines. For us to achieve such recognition is testament to the quality of undergraduate education at Bristol."

The awards were announced at the Guardian University Awards Event in London on Wednesday 27 February 2013. For more details click here.


Biological Sciences DLTM launched - 09/01/13

Delegates from from eight Higher Education Institutions met at Bristol ChemLabS for the launch of the Biological Sciences Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manual. Building on the success of the Bristol ChemLabS Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM) and A-Level LabSkills, this project has put together a panel of science experts from across the UK to produce a list of core practical techniques that are needed in Biological Sciences in the first year of an undergraduate degree programme. The DLTM is constructed using the DLM format developed by Bristol ChemLabS and will be freely available to all UK institutes to support practical teaching in these subjects.

There will be a second launch day at Manchester University on 16th January for more details please contact chem‐dltm@bristol.ac.uk

More details of the project can be found here.



Bristol ChemLabS and eBiolabs DLMs shortlisted for Guardian Education Award - 18/12/12

The Bristol ChemLabS and eBiolabs Dynamic Laboratory Manuals (DLMs) have been shortlisted for The Guardian's inaugural University Awards in the category 'Teaching Excellence' sponsored by the Higher Education Academy. Winners will be announced at an award ceremony in London on 23 February 2013.

For more details please click here.


Bristol ChemLabS Sets A New October Outreach Record - 31/10/12

Whilst the new undergraduate term may have only recently begun, schools have been back for sometime. Bristol ChemLabS has been working with around 60 schools and over 6600 pupils in 12 counties ranging from Devon and Cornwall through to Yorkshire and Northumbria. photo collage of moments in the demonstration

4350 primary pupils (some in reception classes) have had their science curricula supported through a total of 21 hour-long chemistry demonstration assemblies on ‘Gases in the Air’ either in their own schools or in nearby schools.  More than 2200 secondary school students have seen a variety of lecture demonstrations including those of ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’, ‘Fragrance Chemistry’ and ‘Chemistry for the Terrified’.  Over 200 teachers have also been engaged. In addition, 94 Post 16 students have spent time in the undergraduate teaching laboratories at Bristol and many more have been recipients of in-school workshops on spectroscopy led by Preeti Kaur.

The majority of the demonstrations were given by Tim Harrison. Dudley Shallcross, Alison Rivett and postgraduates Sarah Glover and Sophie Franklin also presented science assemblies. In one case the head teacher said "It was a historic day, as it was the first time a female scientist had visited the school and given the children such an experience".

Tim Harrison said “This level of engagement comes about through careful planning, organisation and people putting themselves out. This scale of the engagement would not have been possible without funding from small project grants and sponsorship from the Royal Society of Chemistry, EDF Energy, the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust and the Sidmouth Science Festival.

Professor Nick Norman, Head of the School of Chemistry, said “Once again, Tim and his colleagues have shown what an amazing job they do in reaching both pupils and teachers across all ages and geographical areas. Well done indeed!”

Full details of the outreach events can be found on the ChemLabS Outreach web pages.

For the University of Bristol press release, click here


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