* Outreach News Archive * University of Bristol Press Releases

Outreach News Summer 2009


Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Receives Further Accolade - 17/07/09

Photo of Nick Norman with Prince Charles
Nick Norman with HRH The Prince of Wales

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach has been ‘Highly Commended’ in Business in the Community's Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award. The accolade was announced at a reception at St James’s Palace on 06 July hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales.

The commendation follows last month’s award to Bristol ChemLabS Outreach of a Business in the Community Big Tick award for the project’s positive and sustained impact on the community (see June below).

Big Tick logo

Bristol ChemLabS was one of only seven Big Tick winners in its category that were put forward for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award. The winner was Pinsent Masons LLP while Bristol ChemLabS – the only university entry – was  ‘Highly Commended’.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award recognises company community programmes that raise the achievement of young people through building sustainable partnerships with schools to the benefit of pupils aged between 5 and 19 years. The judges were impressed by the scale of the ChemLabS Schools Outreach programme and its impact on the aspirations and achievements of young people. Over 30,000 students have been engaged during the past year.

The quality of engagement with teachers was also highlighted as an example that could be followed by other companies active in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Discover Labskills project, launched by Discover Chemistry, a partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry and Pfizer, allows all chemistry teacher trainees and their pupils to use a new, innovative e-learning tool – the LabSkills Schools Dynamic Lab Manual developed jointly by Bristol ChemLabS and Learning Science Ltd.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: ‘The outreach activity undertaken by Bristol ChemLabS has been consistently brilliant. The Big Tick award and this additional commendation reflect a huge amount of inspired work. I warmly congratulate the ChemLabS team.’ 

University of Bristol Press Release in full


Bristol ChemLabS Outreach gets Big Tick – 10/06/09

Big Tick Awards 2009 logo

Bristol ChemLabS has won a prestigious Big Tick in the Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence 2009. An independent panel judged the project's outreach and engagement activities with schools, teachers and students of all ages to be making a strikingly positive and sustained impact on the community. The Award was presented at an Award Ceremony in the Great Hall of the University of Bristol.

Now in their 12th year, Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence are the UK’s most recognised and influential awards for responsible business practice.  Independent and peer-assessed, the awards are an opportunity for UK plc to recognise those who are leading the way in responsible business.

photo of secondary school students in the lab

This is the first Big Tick ever awarded to a university department for outreach activities, and is also the first awarded to an educational programme in the chemical sciences.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Thanks to the talent and dedication of its staff, Bristol ChemLabS is having an impact locally, nationally and internationally on the way chemistry is perceived and studied. It’s a project we’re proud of and it richly deserves its Big Tick.”

As well as winning a Big Tick, Bristol ChemLabS is one of seven organisations – and the only university – to be put forward as a finalist for Business in the Community’s national Example of Excellence in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education category. The winner will be announced at a reception at St James’s Palace on 06 July.

Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said: “We have always said that responsible business is just good business and in the current climate it’s never been more important. The Awards for Excellence celebrate powerful examples of businesses that have recognised this and as a result have had a positive impact on society and their business.”

Last month we reported ChemLabS’ record month for outreach work, engaging face-to-face with over 9,200 people. On three occasions during the month, three outreach activities were held in different parts of the UK at the same time. In one week, three events took place in three countries – France, South Africa and the UK – simultaneously.

More on the University News site

Article on the Bristol Evening Post website



'North Somerset Science Shows' – 20/05/09

As part of an Independent State School Partnership grant, Bristol ChemLabS outreach has been asked to deliver up to 11 visits to secondary state schools and Sidcot School in North Somerset to perform the lecture demonstration 'A Pollutant's Tale' or its primary schools variant 'Gases in the Air'.

For more information please contact the ISSP Project Officer Mark Nelson on 01934 417603 or email mark.nelson@n-somerset.gov.uk.


photo of ZoeZoe Schnepp wins the SW regional finals of the NESTA FameLab competition – 20/04/09

Zoe Schnepp, a postgraduate student working with Steve Mann, has won the South-West regional finals - one of five regional rounds - of the NESTA FameLab competition that took place at At-Bristol this weekend. NESTA FameLab is a 'national competition to find and support talented scientists who can share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the public in an innovative and entertaining way'.

Ten finalists (5 winners and 5 runners up from each of the regional rounds) will receive a "media makeover", make podcasts to be shown via Channel 4 and then present their cases at the national final to be held at the Cheltenham Festival on 05 June. The winner will receive real airtime on Channel 4 and a "significant" award.

Zoe is a ChemLabS Science and Engineering Ambassador and says that "ChemLabS outreach got me confident enough to do things like the FameLabs. It's such good training to stand up in front of groups of kids of all different ages.".

The news of Zoe's success even made it into New Scientist!

You can see a snippet of Zoe's performance in the video of the Bristol heat, which Famelab says may have been the "best ever", and her finalist's showreel is available on YouTube.

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