* Bristol ChemLabS Schools' Laboratory Programme

Colour Chemistry Half Day Visit


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

This means opportunities for school 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.

The Colour Chemistry Half Day 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 80 KS4 students who are capable of going on to study ‘A’ level chemistry. 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 teacher per group of up to 15 students.

Expected Timings

09:30 - 09:45

Arrival and welcome

09:45 -10:00

Safety Talk and fitting out with safety glasses and lab coats.

10:15 - 12:45

A circus of 3 practicals with a 15 min break for refreshments during this period.




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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.

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Outline of Visit

Experiment Details

This practical workshop and has been successfully used with KS4 school students. The experiments look at pigment extraction, smart pigments and colorimetry.
The experiments include:

Groups of 10 to 12 students will each have a postgraduate chemist as a demonstrator. All postgraduates (and technicians) are CRB checked through the Science and Engineering Ambassadors (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 experiments use equipment and that not normally used at GCSE.

Tour of the School of Chemistry

This is not available on this occasion.


Drinks and biscuits are provided.
Students must provide their own lunch (to avoid complications due to dietary requirements).


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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



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