* Autumn Term 2006 CHeMneT Events


December

13 December: Climate Change/Atmospheric Chemistry Update for Teachers

Keeling Curve

Annual average global mean surface air temperature, relative to the end of the 19th century - analysed by the Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia (UEA)

A repeat of an earlier session, this free afternoon update was held at the School of Chemistry. The 3-hour session was a condensed undergraduate level lecture course on climate change and ozone depletion, with links to both GCSE and A-Levels being highlighted along with possible teaching resources (both practical and virtual) . This course (and other similar ones) will be offered again in 2007.

Feedback from Rob Wolverson of Strode College:

“I found yesterday's update very valuable indeed. It was a delight to have information presented at the right level - so often courses designed for teachers present the information at the perceived level of the pupils rather than the teacher. I am quite happy to take the responsibility for tailoring the information appropriately for my students - that's what they pay me for!

There was a great deal that I can incorporate into my A-Level course - students are very interested in the subject of climate change so I can use examples to illustrate fundamental chemical ideas - e.g. measurement technology, reaction mechanisms and energetics.”

11 & 14 December: Y13 Spectroscopy Visits

The final 4 sessions of the Autumn term spectroscopy visits saw a further 12 schools visit the School of Chemistry from as far afield as South Wales, Herefordshire and Cornwall. All the students had opportunity to see NMR, IR and mass spectroscopy, and most saw electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography.

Additionally the students had opportunity to ask questions of their PhD student guides about what it is like to be a University student.

Sadly 3 schools cancelled at short notice, which did not allow time for the 180 students on the waiting list to take part. In all around 650 A-Level students have been on spectroscopy visits this autumn. The next tours will take place in September 2007.

06 December: University of Bristol Schools' Christmas Lecture

The lecture demonstration 'A Pollutant's Tale' given by Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison was chosen as the first Schools' Christmas Lecture by the Widening Participation office. Schools from the City of Bristol were invited to attend. All students at the lecture were given a souvenir mug to mark the lecture.

02 December "Are We Losing our Cool?" Workshop, St Johns University, York

This NAGTY workshop looked at climate change and the evidence for it. Activities included measuring local carbon dioxide concentrations and manipulating a simple climate model to see the effect that greenhouse gases have on the average global surface temperature.

The day concluded with a role play and debate exercise, aimed at highlighting the complex social and economic as well as scientific decisions that need to be made in relation to climate change. The workshop was hosted by St Johns University in York and was attended by 16 students aged between 12 and 16. The workshop was run by Science and Engineering Ambassadors (SEAs) Steve Henshaw and Anwar Kahn.

November

29 November: "Are We Losing our Cool?" Workshop, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Norfolk

Working with Science and Humanities Education, ChemLabS put on a workshop which considers climate change and its effects. 30 students from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School took part in a range of activities including measuring carbon dioxide around the school and manipulating a simple mathematical climate model to see the effect that greenhouse gases have on the average global surface temperature.

The day concluded with a role play and debate exercise, aimed at highlighting the difficult decisions that the students of today will be making as leaders of tomorrow. The workshop was run by Science and Engineering Ambassadors (SEAs) Steve Henshaw and Anwar Kahn.

20 November: Clevedon School Chemistry Awareness Afternoon

Bristol ChemLabS were invited in to talk to around 40 students in Y11 and 12 about chemistry as a career and about chemistry degree courses. The students were also given a lecture demo by postgraduate Science and Engineering Ambassador (SEA) Emma Yates.

15 November: Schools' Chemistry Conference

Dr Graeme Jones
Photographer Eamonn McGoldrick

Around 340 students and teachers from 9 schools were highly entertained and educated by the annual November conference. This year’s conference saw Dr Graeme Jones (Keele and Sexy Science Inc) give a lecture entitled ‘Sex, Flies and Sticky Tape’ that had the audience sniffing samples of chemicals used as signals throughout the lecture. The finale to this had everyone learning to dance by considering the vibration and stretching movements of carbon hydrogen bonds in hydrocarbon molecules.

John Kilcoyne and Jeff TeasdaleThe second lecture of the afternoon was a performance of ‘Chemistry for the Terrified’ by Drs John Kilcoyne and Jeff Teasdale (Sunderland). Demonstrations of spontaneous combustion, liquid nitrogen showers and magnesium explosions were mixed with explanations of how tinned beer widgets work and why some of the water you drink has in all likelihood already been passed through your neighbour’s body!

The schools in attendance were Backwell, Badminton, Bristol Grammar, Castle School, Cotham, Hanham High, Kingsfield, Nailsea and Strode College.

11 November: ASE West of England Region Meeting

October

24 October Climate Change Workshop, Newcastle

In collaboration with The Leading Edge, Dudley Shallcross presented a workshop on climate change and introduced year 11 students to the simplest climate model in the world. The students, part of the Gifted and Talented cohort, will carry out a range of investigations using this model and will report back in February.

23-24 October: Influencing the Future: A-Level Chemistry

David Smith and Tim Harrison took part in this forum as members of the key stakeholders' group. They contributed their expertise and experience to to help inform wider discussion about the content of the new Chemistry A-Level, due to be introduced in September 2008.

The conference was held at the National Science Learning Centre, York.

11 October: Lectures at Wuhan University High School, Central China

Outreach in China

In a groundbreaking outreach event, Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison spent three hours working with one hundred 17-year-old students at this school. The students, who all had very good English skills, first enjoyed a version of the lecture demonstration "A Pollutant’s Tale", followed by a question and answer session in English on a range of atmospheric pollution questions.

After a short break a lecture on perfume chemistry was given. At the students' request, Dudley and Tim gave a short talk on what life is like at schools in the UK. We are grateful to postgraduate chemist Judy Yizhu for translating the lectures to ensure the students understood everything said.

The school is based in the grounds of Wuhan University and is regarded as the top school in this city of 8 million people.

Outreach in china

4 October: Atmospheric Chemistry Lecture at Marlwood School

As part of a chemistry week at this science college in Thornbury, Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison presented their lecture demonstration 'A Pollutant's Tale' to an audience of 60 students, their parents and members of the public.

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* CHeMneT Events Summer Term 2006 (May–September)

* CHeMneT Events Spring Term 2006 (January–April)

* CHeMneT Events Autumn Term 2005 (October–December)

* CHeMneT Events Summer Term 2005 (April-September)

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