* Outreach News Archive * University of Bristol Press Releases


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The Outreach Team of Harrison and Furze were back o the road delivering science assemblies. In the main it is the primary schools requesting these visits.


Bristol ChemLabS began an RSC Small Outreach Rant Project mainly with a PSTT Cluster of schools in Bolton. Schools in Blackburn and wigan were also visited. The project will conclude in November with another visit to the Manchester area for a public talk and another primary school visit.


The Outreach team, working with Saskia O'Sullivan (Oxford), premiered their latest video lecture demonstration on the Chemistry of Halloween and Bonfire Night.


The winners for the national competition on Air Quality were Evie and Maria from Bohunt School (Hants), with Tathushan, Nabeel and Dulain from Wilson's School as runners up.


Outreach visits to schools have recommenced with visits to schools in Dorset, Gloucs, Somerset and Bristol.


Video resources recommended by RSC

In this month's newsletter to teachers in the SW of England, RSC Educational Support linked ChemLabS outreach resources on practical work and in spectroscopy.

Virtual Science Festival Inclusions

Several of our videoed lectures have been included in virtual science festivals such as 'BANG GOES DG! STEM festival' (Dumfries and Galloway) and at the Cathness Science Virtual Festival 2021

Chemistry Teacher Training Demonstration and Student Videos Portfolio Increases

The training videos in practical chemistry for secondary teachers now exceeds 85. The number of practical chemistry videos aimed at secondar students continues to grow ‐ see here. These videos are being used in on-line training sessions for UK and other teachers, with a project being developed for teacher training in Kenya.

The requests for outreach events have now started to trickle in as schools look forward to normality in the summer and autumn terms.


Chemistry Teacher Training Demonstration Videos

The number of chemistry teacher training demonstrations published has now risen to more than 70. Several have been included in the latest edition of the practical book by Wajrak and Harrison (Chemical Demonstrations Booklet).

Several of the teacher demonstration videos have been repurposed into student resources. These can be found here.


Virtual Outreach for Primarys

Working with fellows of the Primary Science Teaching Trust an on‐line resource (PSTT) on the topic of combustion/burning has been produced and is undergoing trials.

Two recorded videos by academics, on Bristol and one ECU (Australia), have been published on the Bristol ChemLabS Outreach YouTube channel.



Chemistry Demonstrations for Teachers

The first batch of 46 individual short training videos on Chemistry Demonstrations for Teachers were published to the outreach YouTube channel.


A bumper outreach year curtailed

The outreach figures for the year showed that 25167 people were engaged in 157 events, 149 being face to face events. Of these nearly 19000 were primary children and their teachers. The second half of the school year was to be dominated by working with secondary students!



Christmas Lectures to have a Scottish flavour

Bristol ChemLabS has been asked to give the RSC’s Christmas demonstration lectures at the universities at Edinburgh and Heriot Watt in 2020. This will form art of a week-long lecture tour in the north of England and into southern Scotland.


Jersey Spectroscopy Tour

The RSC’s SIAS kit was taken on a short tour of Jersey where most A level chemistry students had the chance to use the equipment.

Diplodocus and Gases in the Air

Bristol ChemLabS has been invited to perform the lecture demonstrations ‘Gases in the Air’ at Number One Riverside as part of the Great Science Share for Schools, Rochdale in the summer. This is part of a celebration of the UK road trip for the Natural History Museum's famous dinosaur, Dippy the Diplodocus, who will also be in attendance.


Another Outstanding Primary Teacher Endorsed by ChemLabS

This year’s Bristol ChemLabS endorsed PSTT national award-winning primary science teacher is Anna Killough from St John’s Primary School and Carnlough Community Nursery, Northern Ireland. Anna leads science in the school and is integral to the development of the science curriculum within WAU throughout the school and has instigated the use of scrapbooks to monitor progression and coverage of skills. She has involved parents in a ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ project where children and families work together on activities. Beyond the school, Anna leads and supports a cluster of nurseries. Stranmillis University College sends trainee teachers to her classes to benefit from her expertise. Bristol ChemLabS will be visiting Anna in situ to work with the more senior pupils in due course.



Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) Road Trip

Bristol ChemLabS, working with the PSTT, inspired over 2000 Key Stage 2 pupils and 200 teaching staff in 8 primary schools in Bristol, Essex, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester in just 5 working days this month following the KS2 SATS week.


ChemLabS Outreach invited to present at S.Gloucs STEM awards ceremony

Bristol ChemLabS have been asked to put on science demonstrations and to make presentations at the South Gloucestershire Education Awards 2019. STEM Prize winning students from all schools in South Gloucestershire and their parents will be attending the awards ceremony to be held at Aerospace Bristol Museum in October.

Further Outreach Guidance Given

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach were pleased to give advice to Kew Gardens’ consultants about outreach matters.


ChemLabS Partners USIM in Outreach Project

Tim Harrison and Jonny Furze took time out of their busy schedule to work with 77 second and third year chemistry undergraduates at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM). The initial training session was followed up when small groups from the trained students assisted Tim Harrison in the delivery of the internationally established lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ to senior school students.


Outreach on the Road

A busy outreach month saw activities in schools in Bristol, Dorset, Devon, Gloucester, London Somerset, West Yorkshire and Somerset. More than 1000 primary pupils were taught in London alone.


A Pollutant’s Tale’ Training in Malaysia

A Bristol ChemLabS team to work with the Faculty Science & Technology Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia to train students and academic staff to deliver this lecture demonstration and its primary version in a project funded by the Malaysian Government.



Visiting South African Science Communicator Joins ChemLabS Outreach

Sibongile Twala (Sci Bono Science Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa), aided by Tim Harrison and Jonny Furze, to deliver a series of 6 primary science assemblies to 1500 pupils in 4 counties in a week-long visit to the UK.


October was a Record-Breaking Outreach Month

Congratulations to the Outreach team that broke a monthly record for engagements in October with over 5000 direct contacts (not including 200+ teachers) through 37 events across 14 counties in England, Scotland and Wales. The counties covered were: Berks., Selkirk, Fife, Forres, Gwent, Glam., Leics., London, Northants., Suffolk, Bristol, Gloucs., Devon and W. Midlands. 3019 primary pupils, 622 secondary pupils and 462 members of the wider community were engaged.


Inaugural Asia-Pacific Science Communication Conference

Tim Harrison has been invited to present at this conference in mid-November.


Alison Rivett, Bristol ChemLabS Primary Consultant, Retires from Outreach

Many of our Primary CHeMneT primary school members will be saddened to learn that Alison Rivett has resigned her position to take up a permanent post with Bristol’s Public Engagement Office. Alison, always in huge demand, has been ‘edutaining’ local students in science assemblies and workshops for a decade. However, she promises to take on the ‘odd engagement’ where her time allows.


PSTT Science Teacher Award endorsed by Bristol ChemLabS at Presentation

Asima Qureshi (Meadowbank Primary School, Bradley Stoke, Bristol) was presented with her award by Tim Harrison at this prestigious event held in Oxfordshire.

 Part of her citation reads: ‘Asima clearly strives to provide the children at Meadowbank Primary School with the best start in science. With a background as a biomedical scientist, she inspires pupils to see science as an exciting and important part of the curriculum and ensures that working scientifically is at the heart of the subject. Asima is the science subject leader, a Science Lead Practitioner and Specialist Leader of Education and uses her considerable experience to support colleagues, drive up standards and provide excellent outcomes for the children.’


‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ returns to Spain

Tim Harrison returned to the University of Valencia to give a performance of the lecture demonstration for 80 English speaking students from Deutsche Schule Valencia in the city. Also in attendance were 24 science technicians from universities across Europe who were engaged in a week-long inset.


Bristol ChemLabS Outreach: Lessons Learnt from 12 Years of High Volume Chemistry Outreach

Tim Harrison has given two outreach talks in recent weeks; one at the University of Cape Town and the other, nearer to home, at the University of Durham. The talks, entitled ‘Bristol ChemLabS Outreach: Lessons Learnt from 12 Years of High Volume Chemistry Outreach’ were well received. Talk description: ‘The Bristol ChemLabS Outreach project has been going for more than 12 years as a self-financing project that engages directly with 25000-35000 students, teachers and members of the wider community per year in a win, win, win situation. The University, postgraduate chemists and schools all benefit. The chemistry outreach is regional, national and international. In this talk Tim Harrison will describe the outreach programmes, its outcomes and the scaffolding needed to support this endeavour.’


Pollutant’s Tale Morphs into New Science Show

The SciBono Science Centre (Johannesburg, South Africa) has made great use of Tim Harrison’s short training visit to them in 2010 to produce the science how Wonders of the Earth. This lecture demonstration is delivered hundreds of times per year in Johannesburg science centre and in science festivals such as SciFest Africa. This show is to be brought to Bristol in the Winter.

ChemLabS Returns to Largest Science Festival in Africa

Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross returned to SciFest Africa after a break of 8 years to deliver performance of ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ to around 1000 people. While there both Bristol Chemists strengthened the relationship with Rhodes University’s School of Chemistry through a public lecture, taking part in the Barker Seminar Series and in training honours students in the delivery of ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ lecture demonstration. The latter will enable outreach t take place on local schools as part of a service learning module.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach in Kenya?

Bristol ChemLabS outreach is sought out to help develop an outreach programme at the Karlo Biotechnology Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. All elements of outreach training including teacher training, practical work for school students and lecture demonstration training have been requested.


Postgraduate Chemist Krishna Mistry spent 4 days working with and enthusing, hundreds of students at Monkton Park School (Bath).


Chemistry Outreach goes international again

Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison were invited to give daily performances of ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ at the National Science Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa.

PSTT Project continues apace

8 Primary schools in Dorset were visited as part of Bristol ChemLabS involvement in the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) school Clusters Project.



Chemistry Assemblies Across England

This month was busy with primary science assemblies across England. Schools were visited in W. Yorkshire, East Sussex, Somerset, Devon and Bristol.


‘Old Ways, New Ways’

Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison working with Edith Cowan University’s ‘Old Ways, New Ways’ outreach project engaged with 1000 students, teachers, technicians and members of the public.

Alumni Association Student Awards 2017

Veteran outreacher Steve Street was nominated for the Alumni Association Student Awards 2017

RSC Outreach grant success

Bristol ChemLabS has once again been successful in winning an RSC small outreach grant to deliver science assemblies in primary schools in the south west and south Wales during this academic year.


CBBC series 'Deadly Dinosaurs '

Tim Harrison was again working with the BBC in advising on some experiments for an episode of a new CBBC series 'Deadly Dinosaurs ' to be aired in the Spring.

PSTT Award Winning Primary Science Teacher Endorsed by ChemLabS

Amy Woolgar, Science Subject Leader at Manor Primary School, Uckfield, East Sussex, is the latest national award winning primary science teacher endorsed by Bristol ChemLabS. The Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) recognises outstanding primary science teachers annually.


New Outreach project launched

A web-based resource on current research written by researchers at Bristol ChemLabS has been launched. The list of topics will be added to monthly. The articles, which are in the form of comprehension exercises, can be downloaded from here.


Bristol ChemLabS has been working with chemists at James Cook University (JCU, Townsville, Australia) in order for them to set up mobile outreach lecture demonstrations to service Northern Queensland.


Outreach Again to Work with The BBC

Bristol ChemLabS will be working with the Natural History Unit on a series entitled ' Deadly Dinosaurs'. In a minor capacity, Tim Harrison will be filmed demonstrating some gas experiments.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Programme

Over the last academic year Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Programme engaged ~28,000 school pupils including 17,000 primary pupils, 9000 secondary students and just under 1000 teachers. Bristol ChemLabS has been asked again to provide the main prize for the national CLEAPSS science competition.


A visit from a Bristol ChemLabS outreach team was the prize in a National Science competition sponsored by CLEAPSS and the PSTT. The award-winning school was the River School, Worcester.

This month also saw the 4th annual visit by a group of first year undergraduate chemists from the European School of Chemistry, Polymers and Materials (ECPM), Universite de Strasbourg,


Congratulations to former Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Director Dudley Shallcross who has been awarded the RSC’s Nyholm Prize for Education. This is only awarded every two years.


An article for the Brazilian science blog site directed at school students 'Spicing Up Chemistry: Cinnamon' by Liv Levy, Tim Harrison and Natalie Fey has just been published. The article was based on a communication task by final year undergraduate Liv Levy as part of a 'School's Project'. The article can be found here. The article is expected to be published in Portuguese and Spanish in due course.


Outreach continues apace

Another busy month of outreach with 22 events spread across the south of England from Essex to Somerset including a chemistry camp for young women from Jersey to schools’ conferences at Bristol, Cheltenham and Street.


Bristol ChemLabS reinforced its outreach collaboration with Rhodes University (South Africa) with a visit that involved postgraduate demonstration training, science demonstrations in schools and a seminar on outreach advantages.

CHeMneT members will be pleased to hear that Sarah Glover, the postgraduate chemist that many of you will have engaged with either through outreach or through her research, has received her doctorate for her thesis 'It’s Not Just About The Kids: The Effects of University-Led Outreach on Teachers and the Role of the School Teacher Fellow’.


The first Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Advisory Board, with membership across the University, the RSC and other HEIs met with the aim to support future outreach activities and the desire to be recognised as a world leader in outreach.



Bristol ChemLabS completed a marathon series of 12 visits to 16 primary schools in the Chichester area delivering the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to 2150 pupils. The events were sponsored by the PSTT.


I’m a scientist get me out of here - Drug Discovery Zone’ winner

Many visitors to Bristol ChemLabS in the last 3 years may recall talks from Steven Street, a final year PhD student working in Carmen Galan’s group and a member of the Chemical Synthesis CDT. Steve has won ‘I’m a scientist get me out of here - Drug Discovery Zone’. You can read more about 'I'm a scientist get me out of here' and a report on Drug Discovery Zone here.

Anti-Microorganism Resistance Schools Conference

The first Post 16 conference on AMR was held this month involving lectures and a hands-on workshop session.


ChemLabS Endorses Awards for Primary Science Teachers

Bristol ChemLabS has endorsed two national awards made to two outstanding primary science teachers at the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) national awards’ ceremonies in Bristol. Rebekah May from Birch CofE Primary School,Colchester and William Golding of Lumley Junior School Durham will be visited by Tim Harrison to perform science assemblies at their schools later in the year.

Photo of awards

‘I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here’

Postgraduate Chemist Steve Street, who many schools visitors may have heard speak on anti-cancer drugs based on sugars, has been selected to be a part of the ‘I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here’ outreach competition in November! Steve will be taking part in the ‘Drug Discovery’ section.


Outreach Record Broken

Bristol ChemLabS engaged with more than 32500 people last academic year. These were 16700 in primary schools, 14,100 in secondary school and 1700 members of the wider community. In recent years typical outreach numbers were 25000-30000.


Bristol ChemLabS Meets with Wolverhampton Chemistry Outreach Team

3 staff from the recently reformed Chemistry Department at Wolverhampton paid a visit to Bristol to discuss a joint outreach project.

Outreach article Invited for national magazine

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach to feature in a Spring edition of CLEAPPS' 'Science and Technology'. Publication. This magazine is sent to around 23000 primary science leaders in the UK.

Outreach Advisory Board to be formed

ChemLabS outreach is forming an advisory group made up from senior university managers, experts from local universities, a senior RSC representative and a CHeMneT member. The board will meet in early November.


Widening Participation Support for ChemLabS

An additional grant from WP has provided support for chemistry camps, lab visits, loanable equipment and for primary school fragrance workshops.


Bristol ChemLabS Former Outreach Director Awarded Honorary Fellowship

Professor Dudley Shallcross has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the College of Teachers at a degree ceremony by Prince Phillip.

ChemLabS Support for Teachers’ Conferences

Bristol ChemLabS outreach was represented at two highly successful teachers’ conferences this month. The first for Chemistry teachers at the University of Southampton and at the primary Science Teaching Trust’s (PSTT) first international conference held in Belfast.


Bristol ChemLabS was represented at the RSC's second National Outreach Conference held at Newcastle.

Bristol ChemLabS hosted two Salters’ Festivals of chemistry for 26 schools this month and has already been asked to do the same next year.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach has been awarded a RSC Small Outreach Grant to provide several primary school workshops in the new academic year.


Jersey Live Labs

Bristol ChemLabS, working with CHeMneT member Steve Braithwaite at Jersey College for Girls, delivered 8 lecture demonstrations over 3 days to over 1300 students from Year 5 to Year 13 from 8 secondary and 13 primary schools.


Articles on atmospheric chemistry written by ChemLabS staff have appeared for the third time in 5 years in the pre-release papers by an A Level examination board.

The usual 2 year cycle of National Chemistry Week has been broken and it will again take place in November this year (Saturday 19 November to Sunday 27 November ).

EPSRC Public Engagement Grant - Bristol ChemLabS Outreach has been awarded �5000 to deliver science assemblies for Rural Primary Schools in the South West Region during the next year.


Alison Rivett began work on a RSC Small Outreach Grant that allows Bristol ChemLabS to deliver lecture demonstrations to primary pupils from rural schools. The mode employed is to use secondary schools to host their local primary feeder schools to increase the impact of the outreach.


Two outreach workers from the Chemistry department at the Universidad de la Rep�blica, Montevideo in Uruguay spent a week with Bristol ChemLabS researching UK outreach.



The annual Christmas Chemistry conference of talks and lecture demonstrations took place in the School of Chemistry for 220 students from Years 11-13 from 8 schools in the region.


ChemLabS Primary Workshops to be National Prize

A sponsored visit by Bristol ChemLabS Outreach is to be a prize for CLEAPPS’s national primary science competition.

Belfast Science Festival Participation

Bristol ChemLabS, working with Stranmillis University College, will take part in the ‘Playful Chemistry Event’ next February with lecture demonstrations and workshops for primary pupils.


Outreach Events in Great Demand

In unprecedented demand the Open Lab Programme for visits to the Teaching Laboratories for this academic year had nearly all gone by the start of the month. The outreach events around the country were also well attended with over 3000 students and teachers seeing lecture demonstrations in one week in October alone.


Bristol ChemLabS has been approached by the University of Montevideo to deliver primary science training in Uruguay in February 2016.


Outreach Engagement Continues Apace

Another busy academic year has seen at least 28,450 people (including those from more than 670 schools) engaged in a wide range of activities in the UK and overseas. Bookings for lab space are >80% full for the next academic year already.


‘I'm a Scientist - Get Me Out of Here’ Success

Thomas Farrugia (PhD student known to many CHeMneT members for his talks) who has been participating in the Polymers Zone in I'm a Scientist - Get Me Out of Here. Thomas describes this as “It's kind of like the X-Factor or I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here competitions but with scientists being the performers and students the judges”. Thomas won �500 to communicate his work with the public. More information on the website.


Local Success in RSC National Schools' Analyst Finals

Blundell's School Year 12 analytical team, who won the ChemLabS event, finished second in the National Analyst Finals held in Aberdeen!


RSC Links with ChemLabS Outreach Further Strengthened

Tim Harrison will be presenting at the first RSC National Conference on Chemistry Outreach in Manchester discussing future RSC Chemistry Outreach support in general and Chemistry Week in particular. A RSC Small Projects outreach grant from the RSC to support lecture demonstrations in schools in Devon and Cornwall was received. These school visits will be during the academic year 2015/16


ChemLabS Chemistry to be on the BBC

Tim Harrison has just spent 3 days working with the Natural History Unit of the BBC filming chemistry demonstrations that will be used in an 8 part series called Weird World being broadcast in the autumn and narrated by Chris Packham. However, only Tim’s hands and stomach will be in the shots!


Science Alive 2015, Hong Kong Science Museum

Bristol ChemLabS outreach broke a record by engaging with 3500+ school students and members of the public in 2 days at an outdoor event in Hong Kong through hands on workshops and more than 30x 20 minute lecture demonstrations across the 14 hours.University of Bristol news item has more information and photos of the event.


A small outreach grant from the RSC has seen 1650 secondary students from 8 Devon schools see 9 Chemistry lecture demonstrations in January and February. A grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (hefce), will see a number of outreach events provided to a targeted list of schools in Avon, Wiltshire and Somerset over the next two years.


A very busy month has seen more than 2700 students engaged in a range of outreach activities affecting students from 10 counties.


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