* Bristol ChemLabS Schools' Laboratory Programme

A UV- Vis Spectroscopy and Green Chemistry Workshop Visit for KS4 and Post 16 Students


Bristol ChemLabS is making available its refurbished undergraduate teaching laboratories to groups of school students to support regional Chemistry teachers and to raise aspirations amongst students. The laboratories are amongst the very best teaching laboratories in the world.

This means opportunities for students to study at a world-class university with world class facilities outside of undergraduate term time as well as on Wednesdays throughout the year.

This is one of several workshop days involving practical work designed by the Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow with practical scripts written in appropriate language.

Target Students

A maximum of 50 KS4 students who are typically capable of going on to study Post 16 chemistry. On occasions the group may be made up of more than one school.


The number of teaching staff accompanying the student groups from each school should be what is considered appropriate by the local school rules, but there should be at least one adult per group of up to 20 students.

Expected Timings


9:45 –10;00

Arrival and welcome

10:00 –10:10

Welcome and safety briefing. Lab coats and safety glasses issued.

10:10 –13:00

Practical Session in Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories. There will be a break for drinks and biscuits mid morning.

13-00 -13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 14:15 Talk on what it is like to be a ‘generic’ university student at Bristol given by the Widening Participation Office or tour of the School of Chemistry  as available
14;15 - 14:45 A Short lecture by a Postgraduate chemist on a  suitable topic
14:45 - 15:45 ‘A  Pollutant’s Tale’ a lecture demonstration on Atmospheric Chemistry and climate change (lots of experiments including minor explosions, liquid nitrogen and dry ice).
15:45 -16:15 Plenary and Evaluation



back to timings | back to top | SLP introduction | SLP menu

Health and Safety

Extremely Important! Students and accompanying staff will be expected to follow the School of Chemistry's rules for visiting school scientists on health and safety in the laboratories as well as the specific health and safety requirements of the experiments.

This information MUST be made available to all pupils and accompanying adults.

This information MUST be made available to all pupils and accompanying adults.
Failure to observe these rules will result in no admittance to the laboratories for students or accompanying staff.

Click for full Bristol ChemLabS Health and Safety Rules

safety sign - no ballet shoes!

photo by riot_jane

The general rules include

Failure to observe safety rules including inappropriate clothing will result in no admission to the laboratories either for students or accompanying teachers.

Bristol ChemLabS has a more than sufficient supply of lab coats and safety glasses available for students and accompanying staff.  However, if students or staff wish to bring their own that is fine. Lab coats and safety glasses must be worn at all times in the laboratory. Failure to do so will result in no admittance to the laboratory or removal from it.

back to timings | back to top | SLP introduction | SLP menu

Outline of Visit

Groups of 12 to 15 students will each have a postgraduate chemist as a demonstrator. All postgraduates (and technicians) are CRB checked through the STEM Ambassadors (formerly SEAs) or STEM Ambassadors Programme. It is not often that school students will have the opportunity to work with young professional scientists at such close quarters.

The students will carry out a two major experiments;  the depolymerisation of the polymer used in the manufacture of fizzy drinks bottles (PET) and the use of ultra violet- visible spectrometry in analytical chemistry.
The experiments will involve using heating mantles, reflux, Buchner filtration, solvent extraction, rotary evaporation, infra red spectroscopy, volumetric flasks, burettes, cuvettes and uv-visible spectrometers.

I suggest that teachers bring a few digital cameras/digital cameras to record the experiments for follow up back at school.
If you have staff who wish to join in the practical work that is fine. Please notify me ahead of schedule.

Tour of the School of Chemistry

This may be available on this occasion depending on available time.


Drinks and biscuits are provided at morning break.

Students must provide their own lunch (to avoid complications due to dietary requirements).


back to timings | back to top | SLP introduction | SLP menu


Please contact Sue Williams for details.

Careers Advice

Students with Special Needs

The teacher in charge of the visit is expected to notify the School of Chemistry in sufficient time if there are students with special needs so that appropriate risk assessments can be carried out.


Photography of the day's activities is welcomed. Teaching staff have found that images taken in the laboratory make good copy for school websites and newsletters. Images may be taken by School of Chemistry staff for our own websites, articles and other publications. Each school is requested to complete the consent form found at: http://www.chemlabs.bris.ac.uk/Documents/PhotoConsentForm.pdf and return it to Steve Croker by post or fax.

Arriving by Coach or Minibus.

There is no coach parking and very limited minibus parking (by prior booking chem_net@bristol.ac.uk). Coaches can drop off and collect students at a safe point opposite the entrance to Cantock's Close on Woodland Road.

A Map for the School of Chemistry, BS81TS. can be found by clicking here


Please contact The School Teacher Fellow for any queries at t.g.harrison@bristol.ac.uk


back to timings | back to top | SLP introduction | SLP menu


CHeMneT logo