Recent CHeMneT Events


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2017

December

18 December: Science Demonstration, John of Gaunt Academy, Trowbridge, Wilts

Tim Harrison gave a morning performance of ‘Gases in the Air to an audience of around 150 Year 7 students and 5 staff. The event was sponsored by a widening participation grant held by the Science Faculty at the University of Bristol.

18 December: Science Demonstration, St Augustine’s Catholic College, Trowbridge, Wilts

Tim Harrison gave an afternoon performance of ‘Gases in the Air to an audience of around 150 students from Year 8 to Year 13. Students were from the school’s science club and from A level Chemistry and Physics. 4 staff were also in attendance.

Many thanks for your visit today which was enjoyed by all. I am so pleased that the content included so much on atmospheric gases as, you will be aware, there is a big section on Chemistry of the Atmosphere in the new AQA GCSE specification. I feel sure that your lecture will have had on a big impact on their knowledge of the common gases as well as bringing a breath of fresh air and a huge dose of enthusiasm to what can otherwise be a relatively dry area of study. We look forward to the next time.’ Head of Chemistry

The event was sponsored by a widening participation grant held by the Science Faculty at the University of Bristol.

08 December: Lecture Demonstrations, Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury, Wilts

Tim Harrison revisited the Salisbury school to give two lecture demonstrations on ‘Gases in the Air’ to Year 10 students and revision talk/demonstration to Year 11 students at the school during the morning. A total of 260 students and 7 teachers saw the talks.

Tim delivered two sessions, one to our year 10 boys and the other to our year 11 boys this year. As always, the students were totally engaged, watching and listening with enthusiasm, answering questions and frequently laughing at the humourous delivery of great chemistry. Tims' talks have become part of our approach to encourage the A Level Chemists of the future, for those students dithering between Chemistry and another A Level choice his talk is often a persuader. Over the last four years we have sent more students off to study straight Chemistry at University (in addition to Natural Sciences, Biosciences, chemical engineering etc) and I think that Tim's work has had a part to play in encouraging our students.’ Head of Chemistry

This visit was sponsored by a portfolio of NERC research grants held by Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG) at the University of Bristol.

06 December: Caffeine Extraction Morning, Bristol ChemLabS

56 Year 10 students from Badminton School for Girls (Bristol) attended the School of Chemistry in the morning to extract caffeine from tea. The students also attended the Christmas Chemistry Conference for Schools in the afternoon. The students were aided in their laboratory work by Lina Mohammed, Jonny Furze, Mary Okoh, Fabian Fogerty and Rafael Moreno. Bristol ChemLabS worked with Head of Chemistry Michael Gibbons in organising this event.

06 December: Spectroscopy in a Suitcase Visit, St Bede’s Catholic College, Bristol

The Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) kit was taken to this local school by Postgraduate Chemists Bethan Donnelly and Jo Sparks during this period so that 12 Post 16 students had the opportunity to use the spectrometers during the visit.

Just a quick e-mail to say we had an excellent visit from Joanna and Beth from the outreach team. Thanks again for organising: our Y13 students took much away from it.’ Head of Chemistry

For more information on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s SIAS project please see here.

06 December: Schools Chemistry Conference, Bristol ChemLabS

The annual Christmas Chemistry Conference saw 240 Year 10-13 students and 20 teachers from 8 schools from across the region enjoy an afternoon of lectures and demonstrations. The programme comprised talks on geochemistry (‘The chemistry of climate change: Ghosts of climates past, present and future.) by Rich Pancost (Director of the University of Bristol Cabot Institute), postgraduate Chemist Sarah Michel (Bristol) on potential Smart material uses for Spina Bifida treatment and the lecture demonstration ‘Redox Chemistry at Christmas: Is it Better to Give, or to Receive?‘ by David Read and Paul Wilson (Soton). There was an interval for the consumption of a mountain of mince pies.

Schools attending were: Badminton School (Year 10, Bristol), St Brendan’s Sixth Form College (Year 12, Bristol), Cheltenham Ladies College (Gloucs), Colston’s (Year 11,12, Bristol). Bristol Free School (Year 11), Redmaids (Year 12, Bristol), Beaufort Academy (Year 11, Gloucester) and St Katherine’s (Bristol). The event is sponsored by the Bristol and District branch of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and a Widening Participation grant held by the Science Faculty at the University of Bristol.

01 December: Women in STEMM Event, University of Bristol

The Women in Chemistry Working Group (WICWG), aided by STEM Ambassadors, ran a stall with some chemistry activities for Year 9 students (boys and girls) to try. Two sessions were provided for a total of 100 students from 10 local schools. Schools taking part were Abbeywood Community School, Backwell School, Bedminster Down School, Bristol Brunel Academy, The Castle School, Fairfield High School, Gordano School, Merchants' Academy, Oasis Academy John Williams and Redland Green School.

The stall, in the Wills Memorial Building, focused on determining the density of different household liquids and included a 6-layer density tower, as well as illustrating liquid-liquid extraction. This was presented by Claire Dickson, Siying Zong, Esther Townsend, Lydia Dewis and Silvia Amabilino, and the activity was supported by the Women in Chemistry Working group, represented by Hazel Sparkes and Natalie Fey. The showstopper experiments focused on luminescence and were presented by Natalie Pridmore, Steve Street, Hope Aitchison and Hannah Steeds, while Tony Rogers helped to prepare a range of luminescent compounds. The event was aiming to promote more women in STEM subjects. The Chemistry element was organised by Dr Natalie Pridmore (XRD) and was supported by Bristol ChemLabS.

November

29 November: Open Laboratories Programme, Bristol ChemLabS

15 Year 13 students from Exeter School (Devon) and 20 Year 11 students from Blundell's School (Devon) both made their annual visit to the School of Chemistry to undertake practical work. The Exeter students synthesised the solid anaesthetic benzocaine during the morning whilst the Blundell’s School students extract caffeine from tea. All schools enjoyed talks and lecture demonstrations in the afternoon. Postgraduate chemist Sarah Michel gave a talk on smart materials for treating spina bifida and Tim Harrison presented a lecture demonstration on ’Gases in the Air’. The postgraduate chemists working with the students in the labs were Johnny Furze, Mary Okoh and Matt Mulvee.

24 November: Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) Visit, The Kings of Wessex Academy, Cheddar, Somerset

Postgraduate Chemists Joanna Sparks and Maddy Nicholson delivered a session of spectroscopy to a total of 18 Year 12 and 13 students at the school. As part of the school’s Post 16 Science Week. For more information on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s SIAS project please see here.

16 November: Fusion and Chaos Interactive Talk, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol

The ‘Let’s get pyrotechnical!’ lecture demonstration given by local fireworks expert Matthew Tosh saw around 50 of the 250 people audience comprised of local school students. Bristol ChemLabS outreach assisted Fusion President Lara Lalemi in the organisation of the school-side of this event.

15 November: ECU High Schools Presentation, ECU Bunbury Campus, Bunbury, Western Australia

Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross performed the lecture demonstration ’Gases in the Air’ to 100 Year 9 students and 6 teachers from Bussleton Senior High School in the Bunbury area. Bristol ChemLabS was working again with Magda Wajrak of Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia in the organisation and delivery of this event.

15 November: Synthesis CDT Chemistry Day for Invited Schools, Bristol ChemLabS

30 Year 12 students from two schools spent the day at Bristol ChemLabS in a wide range of activities including laboratory work, lectures by postgraduates and a lecture demonstration. Schools attending were Oxford Spires Academy (Esther Gonzales Rodrigues) and the Hinckley Academy and John Cleveland Sixth Form Centre (Leics, Catherine Smith). Members of the CDT Synthesis assisted the school students in their practical work and gave two presentations in the afternoon. The day was rounded off by a lecture demonstration of ‘Gases in the Air’ by postdoctoral chemist Steve Street.

I just wanted to pass on my thanks to your colleagues for organising and running the day yesterday. I spoke to the students and the technician and teacher who supported them and they said it was a great day. The technician was especially glowing about how useful it had been for her to visit a university and experience university life as she comes from a ‘non-university’ family. This is probably equally true for some of the students which I guess is a key point of the day. ‘ Catherine Smith (Chemistry Teacher)

The Bristol chemistry trip was a great one for me, because it really helped me see what University-level chemistry is like. We attempted to extract pure caffeine from teabags, and had to test our product to see if it was what we wanted by checking the melting point and its infrared spectrum. It made me realise that chemists don't really know what they've made until they've run tests on it- there's a lot of room for mistakes, but they will help you get to where you need to be! We also had some lectures from chemistry students who are studying at Bristol about what they do there. It was overall a very eye opening experience for me that helped me realise just how close further education is, what it's like, and what I would like to do at university. I definitely plan on going into a chemistry-related field in university, and this trip just solidified that dream.” Student, Oxford Spires

It is of course a great opportunity to extend the practical side of the curriculum and relate the diagrams of specialist equipment and experiments to tangible experiences which are also memorable. Nothing can replace the feeling of “being a scientist” when they go to a University laboratory and see what they think of as “real scientists” in action and being part of it. The engagement an interest in the subject increases exponentially after these trips and I cannot imagine teaching at A-level without such opportunities.’ Head of Chemistry, Oxford Spires

The CDT postgraduate chemists involved in the day were: Bethan Donnell, Dan Wise, Debbie Nicol, Frank Zieleniewski, Hannah Steeds, Jamie Cadge, Jenny Samphire, Joe Barker, Lauren O’Neil and Rory Mykura.

The visit was sponsored by Bristol Synthesis Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT).

15 November: ECU High Schools Presentation, ECU Bunbury Campus, Bunbury, Western Australia

Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross performed the lecture demonstration ’Gases in the Air’ to 100 Year 9 students and 6 teachers from Bussleton Senior High School in the Bunbury area. Bristol ChemLabS was working again with Magda Wajrak of Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia in the organisation and delivery of this event.

14 November: ECU High Schools Presentation, ECU Campus, Perth, Western Australia

Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross performed the lecture demonstration ’A Pollutant’s Tale’ to 300 students and teachers from schools, and other organisations in the Greater Perth area. Bristol ChemLabS worked with Dr Magda Wajrak of Edith Cowan University (ECU) Australia in the organisation and delivery of this event which was a part of the Old Ways, New Ways project. The secondary schools and groups attending were: Balga SHS, Thornlie SHS, Belmont SHS, Butler SHS and Youth Futures.

14 November: ECU High Schools’ Presentation, Edith Cowan University Campus, Perth, Western Australia

Tim Harrison and Dudley Shallcross performed the lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ to 200 students (Y8-11) and 14 teachers from schools in the Greater Perth area.

The school groups attending were: Balga SHS, Thornlie SHS, Belmont Community College, Butler College and students from the Youth Futures project.

Bristol ChemLabS worked with Magda Wajrak and Jason Barrow of Edith Cowan University (ECU) Australia in the organisation and delivery of this event.

06 November: Halloween Chemistry Evening Lecture Demonstration, The King’s School, Gloucester

310 members of the chemistry community, including colleagues and students of local schools were warmly welcomed to an evening lecture-demonstration at The King's School, Gloucester. Tim Harrison (Bristol ChemLabS) and Saskia O’Sullivan (Deputy Head, Academic, The King’s School) uncovered 'The Chemistry of All Hallows' Eve and Bonfire Night' during the 90-minute extravaganza. During the talk there were ghoulish surprises and bangs!

Well done on yesterdays event, Audience enjoyed your informed and delightful presentation (as always)’ Science Teacher 'it was like the Royal Institution lectures' Parent

The secondary and primary schools represented by students and/or teachers were: The King's School Gloucester; St Edwards School Monmouth; Comprehensive Hopelands Prep, Malvern College; Beaufort School; Dean Close; Sir William Romneys; Ridegway School; Westonbirt; Colston Girls School; Hartpury College; Balcarras School; The Cotswold School and Ribston Hall High School.

The event was sponsored by the King’s School, Bristol ChemLabS and the RSC.

02 November: Science Club Evening Lecture, Millfield School, Street, Somerset

Duncan Wass presented the lecture "Catalysts: From Biofuels to Self-Healing Aeroplanes” to 60 Post 16 students at the host school, Street College and other surrounding schools and colleges. Bristol ChemLabS supported James Hope in the organisation of this event.

01 November: Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) Visit, Bristol Grammar School, Bristol

Postgraduate Chemists Fabian Fogarty and Rachel Booth delivered a session of spectroscopy to 20 Year 13 students at this local school. Bristol ChemLabS worked with teacher Stephanie Ricketts in the organisation of this event. For more information on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s SIAS project please see here.

October

18 October: Open Laboratories Programme, Bristol ChemLabS

32 Post 16 students from Cheltenham College (Gloucs) made a return visit to the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories to extract caffeine during the morning and to enjoy talks and lecture demonstrations in the afternoon. Postgraduate Chemist Krishna Mistry gave a talk on her career and Tim Harrison gave a talk on 'Gases in the Air'. The postgraduate chemists assisting the Year 12 students in the laboratory included Steve Street and Lina Mohammed.

17 October: Careers Evening Presentation and Workshop, Chew Valley School, Bath and North East Somerset

Natalie Pridmore (X-ray lab technician) visited this local school to contribute to a careers evening for their students. She offered an activity on scents, molecular structures and x-ray crystallography, which was well-attended by around 40 KS4 and Post 16 students.

14 October: STEM Day SIAS Visit, Badminton School for Girls, Bristol

Postgraduate chemists Steve Street and Jonny Furze were involved in giving a spectroscopy workshop and talks to 16 Post 16 students during the morning. Bristol ChemLabS worked with Michael Gibbons (Head of Chemistry) in this contribution to this Saturday event. For more information on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s SIAS project please see here.

11 October: Drug Synthesis, Open Laboratories Programme, Bristol ChemLabS

King Edward School, (Bath) brought a group of 29 Year 13 students to synthesise benzocaine during the morning. 19 Post 16 students from St John’s College (Cardiff) also made a return visit to Bristol ChemLabS to spend the morning in the laboratories nitrating methylbenzoate. Both groups spent the afternoon enjoying lectures and lecture demonstrations. Steve Street led the laboratory session and gave a performance of the lecture demonstration 'Gases in the Air'. Postgraduate chemists Sarah Michel gave a talk on smart medical materials. The postgraduate chemists assisting the students in the laboratory were: Jonny Furze, Matt Mulvee, Fabian Fogarty, Mary Okoh and Lina Mohammed.

September

26 September: Science Sensations, Strode College, Street

For the second time Bristol ChemLabS was invited to be part of this Somerset College's annual "Science Sensations" day for local school students. The 75 Year 9 & 10 students from neighbouring Crispin School spent the day taking part in hands-on workshops with local companies.

Alison Rivett then delivered a Chemistry Demonstration Lecture on the theme of 'Gases In The Air' to wrap everything up with a bang! Afterwards their chemistry teacher commented "The students all thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry demonstration and it linked very well to the topics they are currently studying in class." Bristol ChemLabS participation in this event was funded by EDF Energy's Inspire Education programme.

14 September: Spectroscopy Tours Day 3, Bristol ChemLabS

This was the date for the final session of the annual spectroscopy tours of Mass Spectrometry, NMR, SEM, IR and XRD. The morning session was led by Chris Holland (Bristol). 1 Year 13 student from Colston’s Girls School (Bristol) attended during the morning. The staff delivering sessions were: Chris Arthur (MS), Tom Leman (NMR), Jason Potticary (SEM), Natalie Pridmore (XRD) and Steve Street (IR). The postgraduate chemists acting as guides were: Sam Briggs, Angela Suriyakumaran and Matt Mulvee,

13 September: Spectroscopy Tours Day 2, Bristol ChemLabS

This was the date for the second two sessions of the annual spectroscopy tours of Mass Spectrometry, NMR, SEM, IR and XRD. Both morning and afternoon sessions were led by Chris Holland (Bristol). 16 Year 13 students from Kingswood College (Bath) attended during the morning and 31 Year 13 students from Cheltenham College (Gloucs) attended in the afternoon.

Many thanks for welcoming our students and teachers to Bristol yesterday. The students I spoke to were absolutely buzzing about what they saw and the talks they had. …. Thank you for spending the time with our students. It is events like these and the links that should exist between schools and HE that really drive true inspiration and enable curiosity to flourish. One of the challenges we have at College is encouraging more students to take Chemistry at University and I hope the breadth and depth of techniques they saw yesterday will do exactly that’ Visiting Teacher.

The staff delivering sessions were: Chris Arthur (MS), Tom Leman (NMR), Jason Potticary (SEM), Natalie Pridmore (XRD) and Steve Street (IR). The postgraduate chemists acting as guides were: Angela Suriyakumaran, Sian Fussell, Matthew Mulvee and Sam Briggs,

12 September: Spectroscopy Tours Day 1, Bristol ChemLabS

This was the date for the first two sessions of the annual spectroscopy tours of Mass Spectrometry, NMR, SEM, IR and XRD. Both morning and afternoon sessions were led by Chris Holland (Bristol). 74 Year 13 students from St Brendan’s Sixth Form College (Bristol) attended during the day. The staff delivering sessions were: Paul Gates and Chris Arthur (MS), Tom Leman (NMR), Jason Potticary (SEM), Natalie Pridmore (XRD) and Steve Street (IR). The postgraduate chemists acting as guides were: Fabian Fogarty, Richard Booth, Angela Suriyakumaran, Matthew Mulvee and Joanna Sparks.

 


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