* Outreach News Archive * University of Bristol Press Releases

Outreach News 2013



ChemLabS goes French, Encore - 20/12/13

Bristol ChemLabS continued its relationship with the British Council (France) and the French HEI Chemistry sector in providing 3 postgraduate chemists for 5 days of outreach work with 150 Year 9 ‘AimHigher’ students from 5 schools in the region surrounding the Nancy-Metz Acadamie.


A Busy National Chemistry Week for Bristol ChemLabS - 25/11/13

1405 secondary school students and 655 primary pupils from 29 schools spread over 14 counties enjoyed Bristol ChemLabS outreach events during the week-long event which saw 12 lecture demonstrations, 3 lectures and 3 workshops were delivered.

A Pollutant’s Tale, Royal Institution, London - 14/11/13

Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison  performed ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ at the Royal Institution in London to a total audience of more than 400 primary school pupils, teachers and parents. Two sessions for the ever popular lecture demonstration were given at the same venue where the Christmas lectures are presented.

Water, water, everywhere - 08/11/13

Bristol ChemLabS are working with the RSC and Explorerdome to create a new science show on water for Key Stage 2. The show will tour the UK in 2014.


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.


Spectroscopy Tours Attract Students from 9 Counties Over 300 Post 16 students, mainly Year 13 and 25 accompanying teachers and schools’ technicians visited the department in early September. The ten half day events involved 26 members of the School of Chemistry whether giving talks or acting as guides. Bristol ChemLabS was again pleased to support teachers in providing annual spectroscopy tours.


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.

Key Stage 2 Science Support Materials - 15/08/13

Bristol ChemLabS has begun work on an IT resource for Key Stage 2 to support materials science. Tim Harrison is working with Foulds School , and a cluster of local Barnet primary schools to develop the resource. The project is funded by the Primary Science teaching trust (PSTT) formerly called the AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust (AZSTT).


Camps, Camps and Residential Schools - 30/07/13

The last month of the school year has seen a plethora of events including several 2 and 3-day residential experiences for students from across the UK and Malta. These were in addition to the annual Bristol-Trinity College Dublin Chemistry Camp which had its ninth camp across the last 8 years. More camps are already scheduled for 2014. Images from this year’s camps can be found on our Facebook page.


A Mention in Dispatches - 07/07/13

Addressing Maltese President George Abela at a garden party on June 21 to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, British High Commissioner Rob Luke paid tribute to the “unsung individuals” who contribute to the strength of the relationship between the UK and Malta. The article in the Times of Malta (07/07/13) reported that "These... British academics presenting at this year’s NSTF science expo, [are] bringing chemistry to life for hundreds of Maltese schoolchildren." The High Commissioner said these were just a few of “thousands of interconnections” contributing to a “wider interlinking of our two peoples”.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach has been represented in the last two science expos, more details here.

Soapbox Science on the Southbank - 05/07/13

Julie Dunne, a PhD student in the Organic Geochemistry Unit, took part in Soapbox Science on the Southbank, London on July 5th this year. This annual event aims to eliminate gender inequality in careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects by raising the profile, and challenging the public's view of women and science as well as highlighting the struggles many women face when pursuing a career in scientific research.

The footfall was more than 1000 people and on average people listened to a speaker for around 20 minutes before moving on, often to listen to another speaker.

More information can be found here from:

Bristol University
Soapbox Science
Times Higher Education
The Guardian
The Independent

ChemLabS Technical Staff Member Recognised by Award Nomination - 20/06/13

Many CHeMneT visitors to Bristol ChemLabS will have met Steve Croker, Technical Laboratory Manager. You will be pleased to learn that Steve 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.


Big Science-Neutron Scattering:  Short Film Released - 20/05/13

A very interesting 11 minute overview film about the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), the world's flagship centre for neutron science, at Grenoble France has just been released. This is an excellent resource for ‘How Science Works’ in international collaborative science and features Bristol’s own Prof Julian Eastoe. To view the video, click here.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach is a Shinning Example - 16/05/13

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach were highly commended in the group category of the University of Bristol Engagement Awards 2013.

The awarding panel described the ChemLabS outreach work as ' a shining example of sustainable engagement with schools and teachers with huge range, depth and impact, which reached local, national and international students, teachers and others in science education. The number of people you have reached is incredible and highly commendable.'


ChemLabS Outreach to Work with Stellenbosch University - 29/04/13

Bristol ChemLabS will share resources with the South African university to assist the chemistry department’s plans to work more closely with young learners and teachers in the region. A similar project with Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape has been ongoing for the last 6 years.

See: 'Publicising chemistry in a multicultural society through chemistry outreach', South African Journal of Science, 107, November 2011

Science Oscar Nomination for Bristol Professor - 22/04/13

Julian Eastoe has been nominated for a ‘science Oscar’ as best supporting scientist for a promotional video about neutron scattering at ILL Grenoble. The "Institut Laue-Langevin" (ILL) is an international research facility and a world leader in neutron science and techniques. As soon as the video is released it will be linked from the outreach resources page.

RSC Chemistry Film Competition - 22/04/13

The Bristol and District branch of the Royal Society of Chemistry have announced a film making competition on the topic of ‘Fire and Flame’ for students in Year 9 and 10 in the region. The task is to make a 6 minute film that could be used to teach primary pupils. There will monetary prizes for the school and students. Deadline is 1 July 2013. Further details can be found here.

Pollutants Tale to be performed at the Royal Institution - 12/04/13

Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison will be performing ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ at the Royal Institution in London in the autumn. On 14 November two sessions for the ever popular lecture demonstration are to be given for primary and secondary school students at the same lecture theatre where both Michael Faraday and HG Wells have presented. 


The Seventh Chem@rt Gallery is Launched - 15/03/13

The latest gallery of images from researchers at the School of Chemistry, available for schools to use to stimulate poetry and prose has been published.

See here for more details.

Science in School Reaches Half a Million Mark - 01/03/13

Articles produced for teachers and students published through the pan-European journal Science in School have now reached over half a million hard copies or downloads. Many ChemLabS articles ranging from climate change to primary chemistry workshops to magnetic detergents have been translated into several languages. For a list of ChemLabS publications including those published in Science in School, click here.


Former Director of Outreach Receives Royal Meteorological Society Award - 15/02/13

We are delighted to announce that Dudley Shallcross has been awarded the Adrian Gill Prize of the Royal Meteorological Society.

This Prize has been awarded for a series of high profile papers that describe, for the first time, pollutant dispersion in the urban environment using inert and reactive tracers.


"OFFA tells universities to reach out to primary schools" - 18/01/13

The announcement to universities by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) to engage with primary school pupils brought a smile to Bristol ChemLabS this week. Bristol chemists through the outreach programme have been doing this for more than a decade. This week alone 426 primary pupils have been engaged in Somerset, Sheffield and Manchester. Additionally postdoctoral atmospheric scientists at Manchester University were trained to do just this by Bristol ChemLabS.

New Bristol ChemLabS Administrator - 01/01/13

The new Bristol ChemLabS Administrator is Dr Vicky Swinerd. Vicky is a former PhD chemist from Bristol and is taking over from Dr Beatrice Cattoz who held the post in a temporary capacity prior to moving to the University of Greenwich.


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