CHeMneT Events Spring Term 2011


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2011

March

30 March: RSC Year 12 Analytical Chemistry Competition

Bristol ChemLabS played host to the regional finals of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Analytical competition. Thirty-nine very able Year 12 chemists represented thirteen regional schools. Whilst the judges, led by Dr Jenny Unsworth, a trainee Patent Attorney with Hepworth Browne in Bristol, scored the student submissions, Tim Harrison presented a lecture demonstration on Perfume Chemistry.

The winning school were Colston’s Collegiate School, with Backwell School, last year’s winners, very narrowly behind in second place. The Colston’s Collegiate team will go onto the national finals to be held at Reading University in June.

Bristol ChemLabS Director of Outreach Tim Harrison said of the competitors 'It is very pleasing to see so many able young scientists enjoying themselves whilst engaged in serious competition.'

Postgraduate chemists assisting Tim Harrison were Amy Styring, Ben Cheesman, Aimee Boyle and Tai Miah.

The schools represented were: Backwell School, Bishop Wordsworth's CoE Grammar School for Boys, Blundells, Bristol Grammar School, Castle School, Cheltenham College, Clifton High School, Colston’s Collegiate School, Cotswold School, Dauntseys, Katherine Lady Berkeley School, Redland Green School, Redland High and Taunton School.

A full report on the day can be found here and a University of Bristol Press Release on the event can be found here.

28 March: Royal Society Partnership Grant Project, Leweston School, Dorset

As part of the joint Leweston Bristol ChemLabS project entitled 'Every Breath You Take: Mining Atmospheric Chemistry Data', Dudley Shallcross, Tim Harrison and Mary Bartlett visited this school near Sherbourne to work with a group of 36 students from Years 9-13.

The morning started off with an adapted version of 'A Pollutant's Tale', followed by a more in depth consideration of tropospheric pollutants. Mary Bartlett also gave a short presentation on her research work which involves modelling sulphur chemistry in the atmosphere. After a break the workshop moved to the library for an examination of the NetCen data. The students then began their analysis of the data for particulates in the atmosphere for the UK on November 5th in all years for which data is held. The aim of the partnership is to show students 'how science (really) works' and to produce a research paper to be offered for publication.

The next stage involves the students continuing to process the data. A visit to the School of Chemistry's Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group is now being planned.

A reports on the event can be found here and here.

Details of Royal Society Partnership Grants can be found here.

23 March: Aspiration Raising Day, The Wariner and Tudor Hall Schools

Forty year 10 students from the two neighbouring north Oxfordshire schools spent the morning in the undergraduate teaching laboratories extracting caffeine from tea leaves and the afternoon in lectures. Post doctoral chemists Preeti Kaur gave a talk on 'Extremeophile Chemistry' and Doug Jennings, from the Widening Participation Office, discussed 'What it is like to be a student at Bristol University'. Tim Harrison completed the day with a lecture demonstration on 'Perfume Chemistry'.

Shirin Alexander, Lucija Soberl and Joshua Howgego assisted the students in the laboratories.

A report on the day from Tudor Hall can be found here.

22 March: Stonehenge School, Amesbury, Wiltshire

Tim Harrison performed 'A Pollutant's Tale' for 150 Year 8 and 9 students at the specialist Mathematics and Computing College. This lecture was sponsored by Bristol ChemLabS.

19 March: Marlborough Science Fair, St John's School, Wilts

Tim Harrison gave a performance of 'A Pollutant's Tale' in the Theatre on the Hill, to an audience of 250 children, students and adults. The very popular science fair was attended by 1800 visitors.

18 March: Science and Technology Open Evening, Taunton School, Somerset

STEM Ambassadors Ben Cheesman and Andy Chapman presented three 20 minute demonstration talks on liquid nitrogen and dry ice to a total audience of 310 members of the public and school students at this event. This event was sponsored by Bristol ChemLabS as part of National Science and Engineering Week and was promoting the Sciences at the University of Bristol.

17 March: Workshop Day, Winchmore School, Enfield, North London

30 gifted and talented science students from years 7, 8 and 9 enjoyed a morning workshop with Tim Harrison and Sophie Franklin. Tim started the session with a demonstration of experiments using gases found in the air before the students investigated the iodine clock and slime making reactions for themselves

This event was organised as part of the National Science & Engineering Week celebrations being organised by the London Borough of Enfield.

16 March: The Warriners and Tudor Hall Schools, Banbury, Oxon

Bristol ChemLabS gave an afternoon of talks for these two neighbouring north Oxfordshire schools. Postgraduate Andy Chapman gave a talk, complete with samples, on the 'Chemistry of Chocolate'. This was followed by a lecture demonstration on 'Hollywood Chemistry' given by postgraduate Sophie Franklin. 110 Key Stage 4 students enjoyed the afternoon in celebration of National Chemistry and Engineering Week.

15 March: A Pollutant's Tale', Redland High, Bristol

Ben Cheesman gave a performance of the ever popular chemistry demonstration lecture at this local school to an audience of 50 Year 7 girls.

15 March: Fitzharry's School, Abingdon, Oxon

Tim Harrison, assisted by postgraduate chemist Beatrice Cattoz, delivered a day-long workshop on Fragrance Chemistry to Year 10s at the Oxfordshire school. This event involved a full year assembly for 220 students on fragrance chemistry and an extended practical session with 16 students who each produced their own bottled fragrance at the end of the day.

Teacher Esther Garcia-Rodriguez said of the day 'It was great today, thank you! My lab only smelled this good a year ago when you did this workshop.'

09 March: Schools Conference, The Blandford School, Dorset

Bristol ChemLabS presented a morning conference for 95 students in Years 11-13 form the host school and Sherminster High School. Ben Cheesman presented the talk 'Silicon and Silicone and Tim Harrison continued with 'Extremophile Chemistry'. After a break Tim Harrison performed the lecture demonstration 'A Pollutant's Tale'.

03 March: 'A Pollutant's Tale', Strode College, Street, Somerset

Tim Harrison made his annual visit to deliver the lecture demonstration on atmospheric chemistry and climate change at the theatre at Strode College for 80 of their own Post 16 environmental scientists, chemistry and biology students and 30 Year 10 students from Crispin School.

02 March: John Cabot Academy, Bristol

10 Year 11 students from this local school spent the day at the School of Chemistry. The students extracted caffeine from tea leaves in the undergraduate teaching laboratories before attending talks in a lecture theatre in the afternoon. Tim Harrison gave a shortened version of 'A Pollutant's Tale', before Doug Jennings from the Widening Participation Office talked about what being an undergraduate was like at Bristol. The last talk was given by Ben Cheesman on the 'Chemistry of Silicones' who also worked with the students in the labs.

'Thank you and your team for making (the workshop) a memorable event for our year 11's. They thoroughly enjoyed their visit and learnt a lot about Bristol University (as I did!).' Salma Siddique, accompanying teacher.

02 March: Practical Examination Work, Wellington School, Somerset

Sixteen Year 13 students underwent an assessed practical component of their Edexcel A-Level chemistry course in the morning and then looked at a number of analytical techniques in the afternoon including GCMS , mass spectrometry and NMR. STEM Ambassadors Helen Pritchard Smith and Georgia Pilkington assisted with the practical work in the morning. In the afternoon Steve Croker, Rosemary Silvester and Tim Harrison gave talks on the different analytical techniques.

February

23 February: A-Level project students visit from Gordano School and City of Bristol College

As part of their continuing studies for A-Level projects two students from Gordano School and City of Bristol College spent the day in the undergraduate teaching laboratories working with Steve Croker on projects investigating the chemiluminescence of luminol using a fluorimeter and analysing biodiesel samples using GCMS.

23 February: Project Work Support, Malmesbury School, Wilts

In this support of Project Work, Dr Craig Butts worked with two award winning students from this school in the undergraduate teaching labs at Bristol on a project involving the fermentation of sugar beet. The students established the exact composition of their crude extract by NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectroscopy which showed the presence of ethanol which was then purified by distillation, and checked again by NMR. The students ran the NMR spectra themselves thereby experiencing what it is like to use £200,000 worth of scientific instrumentation!

16 February: Winchcombe School ISSP Aspiration Raising Visit

45 KS 4 students from a consortium of schools in the north of Gloucestershire and Brecon spent the day at Bristol ChemLabS. The students extracted caffeine from tea leaves and looked at the infrared spectra of their products. In the afternoon Ben Cheesman gave a talk on 'Silicon and Silicone Chemistry' before Dudley Shallcross and Sophie Franklin presented 'A Pollutant's Tale' to the excited audience.

Postgraduate chemists Shirin Alexander, Katie Lim, Beatrice Cattoz and Amy Boyle assisted the students. Students and staff from Winchcombe School, Pate's Grammar School, Christ College Bournside School and Pittville School were present as part of the Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) project.

16 February: 'A Pollutant's Tale', University of Plymouth, Devon

Tim Harrison gave the well known lecture demonstration 'A Pollutant's Tale' at the university's Stonehouse Lecture Theatre to an audience of undergraduates and members of the public including 10 Post 16 students from Plymouth College. The lecture formed a part of the annual series of talks sponsored by the RSC Analytical Chemistry Western division.

09 February: Anaesthetic Synthesis, St John's School, Marlborough, Wilts

14 Year 13 students spent the morning working in the Bristol ChemLabS teaching laboratories synthesising and analysing benzocaine. The afternoon saw the students in the lecture theatres enjoying talks. The first lecture was 'The Pharmaceutical Industry and The Process of Drug Discovery' given by Tim Gallagher. Tim Harrison followed with the lecture demonstration ' A Chemical Delight' followed by a  tour of the department.

Postgraduate Stem Ambassadors Maddy Strickland and Rachel Wellington assisted the students with the hands-on work.

04 February: Lecture Demonstration, King's College, Taunton, Somerset

Tim Harrison performed 'A Pollutant's Tale' at the Friday evening Science Club meeting to an enthusiastic audience of 100 students from Years 11-13.

02 February: Uppingham School, Uppingham, Rutland

Tim Harrison gave a morning performance of 'A Chemical Delight' to 130 members of Year 9 at this independent school in Rutland. This was followed by a second evening performance to a total of 60 students in Key Stage 4, Post 16 and members of the public.

02 February: A-Level project student visit from Gordano School

As part of an A-Level project a student from Gordano School spent the day in the undergraduate laboratories working with Steve Croker on a project investigating the chemiluminescence of luminol.

January

29 January: 2nd Annual Festival of Contemporary Science for Science Teachers

10 Post 16 students attended the Festival, mainly aimed at science teachers, to listen to a whole day of lectures. The students were able to select their own schedule by chosing talks given by leading academic experts in biology, chemistry, physics and medical sciences. Talks on the large hadron collider, drugs chemistry, synthetic diamonds and the tracking of penguins were amongst the topics on offer.
Such opportunities give teachers a real opportunity to see 'how science works' in all science areas. It also provides teachers with the up-to-date facts that enhance classroom discussions. Eighteen academics from several disciplines at Bristol, including Chemistry, Medical Sciences and Physics, gave lectures or delivered workshops on the day.

27 January Gases in the Air, Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol

Tim Harrison presented a lecture demonstration on 'Gases in the Air' to 120 Year 7 students who were visiting the university. The lecture demonstration took place in the School of Chemistry and was organised by Bristol's Widening Participation and Undergraduate Recruitment Unit.

26 January: Drug Synthesis Day, Open Laboratories Programme

A group of 15 Post 16 students from Cheltenham Ladies College in Gloucestershire and 22 students from Sidcot School in north Somerset spent the day in the School of Chemistry working in the undergraduate teaching laboratories making the anaesthetic benzocaine during the morning and enjoying an afternoon of lectures. The lectures were 'The synthesis and development of drugs: the story of aspirin' given by Matt Hesse, and Tim Harrison presented the lecture demonstration 'A Chemical Delight'.

Postgraduate chemists Sewa Abdullah, Tom Turner, Elliot Murphy and Yannan Cui assisted the students in the laboratory.

26 January: Access to Bristol Programme

Bristol ChemLabS, working with the University's Widening Participation Office, provided an afternoon conference for 20 Year 12 students from local schools in the second of 2 afternoon visits to the School of Chemistry. Postgraduate chemist Matt Hesse gave a talk on 'The synthesis and development of drugs: the story of aspirin' and Tim Harrison presented the lecture demonstration 'A Chemical Delight'. After the lectures the students were taken on a guided tour of the School of Chemistry.

20 January: Perfume Chemistry Lecture Demonstration Gordano School, Portishead, Bristol

Tim Harrison gave a talk on fragrance (perfume) chemistry to Gifted and Talented students at an after school event at this local school. 28 students from Years 9-11 and 3 teachers attended the hour-long lecture demonstration.

19 January: Access to Bristol Programme

Bristol ChemLabS, working with the University's Widening Participation Office, delivered a workshop on caffeine extraction from tea leaves for a group of 18 Year 12 students from several local schools in the first of two afternoon visits to the School of Chemistry this month.

Emily Baker and Lucija Soberl were the postgraduate chemists who assisted Ben Cheesman in delivering the session.

More details of the Access to Bristol Programme can be found here.

19 January: Caffeine Extraction Morning, Writhlington School, Wilts

Twenty-seven Year 9 students spent the morning in the School of Chemistry attending a practical workshop extracting caffeine from tea leaves. Postgraduate STEM Ambassadors Aimee Boyle, Beatrice Cattoz and Helen Pritchard-Smith assisted Chris Adams in the delivering the session.

The Winners, Katherine Lady Berkeley School13 January: RSC Top of the Bench Competition Regional Heat

The annual regional heat of the Bristol and District branch of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Top of the Bench was hosted by Bristol ChemLabS. Teams from 16 schools were present for the evening competition, each team comprising two Year 9, one Year 10 and one Year 11 student. Two demanding practical exercises were undertaken by 64 students whilst their accompanying teachers were entertained by Ben Cheesman who took them on tours of the department and presented a lecturette on 'Silicon and Silicone Chemistry'.

Following on from a demonstration of Tim Harrison's favourite experiments, the winners were announced. Assisting and judging the students were Chief judge Dr Jenny Unsworth, a Medical Scientist and Patent Attorney at Hepworth Browne (Bristol), Declan Fleming (Bath) and Bristol postgraduate Chemists Rachel Wellington, Cathy Cooper, Beatrice Cattoz and Mary Bartlett.

Runners up were the team from Cheltenham Ladies College with the winners coming from Katherine Lady Berkeley School (KLB). The winners, from Wotton-Under-Edge, will take part in the national finals being held at Imperial College London in April.

Feedback from one of the schools included the comment: 'Thanks to you and your team for putting on the Top of the Bench Comp again, and for making our students so welcome. They had a great time by all accounts and have been full of enthusiasm all day'.

The schools present were: Blundells, Bristol Cathedral Choir School, Bristol Grammar School, Cheltenham Ladies College, Clifton High School, Downside School, Hardenhuish School, Katherine Lady Berkeley School, Millfield, Oldfield School, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, Redland Green School, Sherborne School for Boys, Sidcot School, Sir William Romney's School and The Ridings Federation Winterbourne International Academy.

13 January: Christmas Lecture's 2011, St Bede's Catholic College, Bristol

Tim Harrison presented the ever popular lecture demonstration 'Gases in the Air' to an audience of 175 very keen and enthusiastic Year 9 students at the local Bristol school. The lecture demonstration, involved dry ice, liquid nitrogen and a few minor explosions and was the third annual presentation at St Bede's Christmas Lectures.

 

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