* Bristol ChemLabS Schools' Laboratory Programme

Polymer Chemistry Day


Bristol ChemLabS is making available its recently refurbished undergraduate teaching laboratories to support groups of 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.

The ‘Chemistry Day for UoB Employees’ Children’ 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 students aged 13-15.  


Parents and Guardians will hand over their children to members of the School of Chemistry in the morning. Parents and Guardians are invited to share in the talks and lecture demonstration during the afternoon in the lecture theatre before taking their child(ren) home. Otherwise children may be collected at the end of the lectures.

Expected Timings


Registration –at Porter’s Lodge, School of Chemistry.

9:45 -10:00

Welcome, Safety talk and fitting out with safety glasses and lab coats.

10:00 –13-00

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

13:00 –13:30

Lunch (students to provide their own packed lunch)

13:30 –14:00

Tour of the School of Chemistry


Short break

14:15 –14:45

 Talk by a young research chemist. Lecture Theatre

14:45 - 15:45

Lecture demonstration: A Pollutant’s Tale’. Lecture Theatre


Chemistry Survey  and Departure. Lecture Theatre

Health and Safety

Extremely Important! Students 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 students.

Failure to observe these rules will result in no admittance to the laboratories for students.

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.
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.

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 Science and Engineering Ambassadors (SEAs) or STEM Ambassadors Programme. It is not often that school-aged students will have the opportunity to work with young professional scientists at such close quarters.

The students will be split up into groups to work through the circus of experiments. There will be 3 stations each station may have more than one experiment.
The experiments will include the making of some polymers, the recycling of a biodegradable polymer, an investigation into some of the properties of polymers such as those in ‘slime’ and polymorph.
Groups of 48 or more will be split into 6 groups and three groups will work either side of our teaching laboratories on independent circuses of experiments. Would teachers please split large groups into either 3 or 6 groups in advance.

Tour of the School of Chemistry

This is not available on this occasion due to the expected large size of the group.
Drinks and biscuits will be provided during the morning break. Students must provide their own lunch (to avoid complications due to dietary requirements).
There is a cost for this workshop . Please contact chem-net@bristol.ac.uk
Careers Advice
We will endeavour to make chemistry careers literature available to every student who would like some. We obtain literature about careers in the chemical sciences from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). University of Bristol prospectuses will be available.
Students with Special Needs
Please notify the School of Chemistry in sufficient time if there are students with special needs so that appropriate risk assessments can be carried out.

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

School of Chemistry
University of Bristol
Cantock's Close
Bristol BS8 1TS
Secretary: chem-net@bristol.ac.uk  +44 (0)117 928 8313 Fax:     +44 (0)117 9250612


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