Primary Schools Outreach Events Summer 2009

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27 August: Fitzgerald Mackay North State High School, Mackay, Australia

Tim Harrison continued his series of lecture-demonstrations with two performances on the 'Gases in the Air' with 100 Y5 and 100 Y4 students from Fitzgerald Primary School. The shows were hosted by Mackay North State High School in their auditorium.

25 August: Fitzgerald Primary School, Queensland, Australia

photo of Tim Harrison and primary school pupils in MackayTim Harrison gave three separate lectures on the 'Gases in the Air' to pupils from Y3, 6 & 7 from the large primary school in north Mackay. A total of 300 pupils and their teachers saw the performances, which were hosted in the auditorium of neighbouring North Mackay State High School.


13 & 14 July: Pate's School, Cheltenham

This Science Specialist College held two 'Science Spectacular Days' for its primary feeder pupils from eight local schools. Alison Rivett started both days off with some exciting science demonstrations. The pupils then participated in Polymers Workshops, making sticky slime and experimenting with a thermoplastic, assisted by SEAs Beatrice Cattoz, Preeti Kaur, Kaizhong Fan, Jane Fletcher, Adele Laurain & Rebecca Rice.  Afterwards some of the primary school teachers' comments included: "Children particularly enjoyed the hands-on experiences", "All loved the introduction, especially the balloons", "Brilliant assembly to launch the day".

06 July: Ashton Gate Primary School

drawing by one of the pupils at Ashton Gate Primary SchoolThe Bristol ChemLabS team of Alison Rivett and SEAs Preeti Kaur, Yannan Cui and Rob Scott got this local school's Science Week off to an explosive start with a whole-school science assembly about all the 'Gases in the Air'.  Two classes of Y5 pupils then took part in fun hands-on workshops for the rest of the day.

"The reaction of the children was brilliant.  We were amazed at some of the answers, especially from the younger children.  They knew such a lot that we were inspired and moved on to starting every day with a teacher demonstration.  On leaving school we heard children telling their parents that it was the best assembly ever. [...] the children dealt with 'difficult' ideas and issues well, and were not fazed by the idea of the properties of gases." Charlotte Thomas, teacher

03 July: Cotswold School

Alison Rivett delivered two Chemistry Demonstration Assemblies to 200 primary pupils at Cotswold School, Gloucestershire as part of this Specialist Science College's annual Science Day for Y5 students from local schools.


30 June: Oldbury on Severn Primary School

photo of Oldbury pupil doing chemistryAlison Rivett and postgraduate SEAs Tom Hey, Mark Kent & Preeti Kaur spent the morning at this local school as part of their Science & Art Week.  The whole school enjoyed a colourful chemistry assembly in which they found out about some of the science behind the Chem@rt images.  Junior pupils then took part in a workshop where they got creative experimenting with thermographic paints, chromatography and multi-coloured slime!

25 June: Science Visit, Nailsworth Primary

Alison Rivett gave a well received performance of 'Gases in the Air' to this school.  Marcus Medley and Alison, assisted by SEAs Shirin Alexander and Gavin Leithall, then worked with 60 Y4 & 5 pupils on some hands-on science.

23 June: Colfox School, Primary Science Day, Dorset

A team from Bristol ChemLabS spent the day working with 60 Y6 pupils from local primary schools as part of Colfox’s primary feeder day. The pupils enjoyed a performance of 'Gases in the Air' by Marcus Medley in the morning. In the afternoon they were treated to four different workshops lead by SEAs Steve Henshaw, Preeti Kaur, Beatrice Cattoz and Linda Sellou. In these workshops they investigated everything from “how much sugar there is in a soft drink” to “how to make slime”.

18 June: Mayor's Award Celebration Evening, Oasis Academy, Enfield

15 June: Science Visit, Hillview Primary School, Gloucester

Marcus Medley started a morning of activities at this school with the lecture demonstration 'Gases in the Air'.

Thirty Y6 pupils then worked with Steve Henshaw and James Kitulagodo on two experiments associated with colour change. The first experiment used colorimeters to determine the amount of food colouring a drinks company needed to add to their cherryade as part of an EU project. The second experiment involved the pupils developing their problem-solving skills by investigating the iodine clock reaction

12 June: Science Day, Redfield Primary School, Bristol

Marcus Medley started a morning of activities at this school with the lecture demonstration 'Gases in the Air'.

Thirty Y5 pupils then worked with Steve Henshaw and Linda Sellou on one of two experiments associated with colour change. One group used colorimeters to determine the amount of food colouring a drinks company needed to add to their cherryade as part of an EU project. The other group developed their problem solving skills investigating the iodine clock reaction. In the afternoon, 30 Y6 pupils were able to complete both experiments.

I would like to pass on our thanks to the ChemLabS staff for an excellent presentation and subsequent workshops. The children have talked about nothing else since. I am sure we now have some budding chemists!’ Andrew Foss, Headteacher

10 June: Science Day, Marling School, Gloucs

30 Year 6 primary pupils from 3 local feeder schools spent the morning at the school firstly enjoying an explosive lecture on the gases in the air before moving to the lab to solve the problem of a making a cup of tea . The students used colorimeters, instruments not normally used in primary schools, to investigate the colour differences in leaving tea bags in boiling water for different lengths of time. The session was sponsored by an EU grant.

06 June: 'A Pollutant's Tale', Cheltenham Science Festival, Gloucs.

04 June: Chemistry of Toothpaste, Cheltenham Science Festival, Gloucs.

Alison Rivett and Marcus Medley led a team of demonstrators from Bristol ChemLabS in five workshops on the Chemistry of Toothpaste. Each workshop began with a brief introduction to the history of toothpaste and provided the opportunity for some volunteers to experience Victorian toothpaste. Then in three groups, pupils investigated the difference in toothpastes from their abrasiveness to their fragrance.

03-05 June: Chromatography of Pens, Learning Science, Cheltenham Science Festival, Gloucs.

02 June: Primary Gifted & Talented Demonstration Lecture

photo of pupils and Alison Rivett in the lecture theatreGifted & Talented Y5 & 6 students from Bristol schools were invited to this special demonstration lecture taking place at 14:00 at the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol. Alison Rivett presented the fun and interactive talk 'Gases in the Air'.

The hour-long talk introduces the different gases in the air around us with some exciting demonstrations involving liquid nitrogen, oxygen foam, dry ice and a few explosions! As well as extending subject knowledge about states of matter and physical vs chemical reactions, it enthuses and inspires pupils about science.

This event was a partnership between Bristol ChemLabS and Bristol City Council Children & Young People Services.

02 June: Science Visit, East Birkenshaw Middle School, Yorkshire

A team from Bristol ChemLabS spent the day working with 30 Y4 pupils from East Bierley First School and 100 Y5 pupils from Birkenshaw Middle School. The children first saw a performance of 'Gases in the Air', before the ones from Y4 enjoyed a practical chemistry workshop with SEAs Marcus Medley, Nisha Doshi and Beatrice Cattoz. Tim Harrison spent the afternoon giving talks to three classes of Y5 pupils on the topic of perfume chemistry. Katie Hall of the Graduate School of Education also assisted.

'Thank you so much for the opportunity that you gave our pupils. They loved the experience and are still buzzing!!! We were hoping that you could come again next year ....... but this time for 2 consecutive days.' Anna Du Quesnay (Assistant Head, Birkenshaw Middle School)

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12 May: Science Afternoon, Westbury Park Primary School, Bristol

Varinder Aggarwal, Marcus Medley and Steve Henshaw spent the afternoon at the local school working with the senior pupils. They gave some practical demonstrations and the 60 Y6 pupils had an opportunity to do some practical work and to ask questions about what it is like to be a scientist.

'Thank you very much again for putting on such a fantastic afternoon for the children. They were buzzing with excitement when they came back into the classroom. I'm sure you've inspired the scientists of the future!'

06 May: Easton Primary School, Bristol

All the pupils, from Nursery to Y6, gave Alison Rivett a friendly and enthustiastic reception when she delivered an exciting and sometimes explosive chemistry assembly as part of this Bristol school's Science Week.  The Y5 & 6 pupils then took part in hands-on science workshops with postgraduate SEAs Gavin Leithall, Kate Hanford and James Kitulagoda.


22 April: Perfume Chemistry Workshop for Primary Schools

Thirty-seven Y5 pupils from 4 Bristol primary schools visited the School of Chemistry for a full morning of activities. The visit started with a talk by Tim Harrison on the science behind fragrances in a lecture theatre. This was followed by a short tour of the School of Chemistry accompanied by a postgraduate chemist. After a break for drinks and biscuits the pupils went to the undergraduate teaching laboratories for two practical exercises. The first was to make molecular models from a selection of fragrance molecules, samples of which were available to smell. The second exercise was for the pupils to prepare, bottle and package their own chosen fragrance from the ChemLabS' range of five possibilities!

The visit was organised by Hannah High School Bristol as part of the Narrowing the Gap project.

Comments received included:

'It was so cool at the university - that's the university I want to go to.'

'All the teachers were real scientists - and they were all girls!'

'I really want to study medicine now - I'm going to have to learn really hard at school now.'

'They [the girls] were also treated as returning heroes by the younger girls who were queuing up to sample their perfumes!'

The Bristol schools attending were: Beacon Rise Primary, Hannam Abbots Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary and Christchurch Primary.

Postgraduate SEAs involved included Phyllis Fiadzomor, Preeti Kaur, Sherin Alexander, Kara Cubbage and Marcus Medley.

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thumbnail of primary school chemistry imageSpring 2009 (January-March)

thumbnail of colour chemistry image Autumn 2008 (October-December)

* Summer 2008 (May-September)

* Spring 2008 (January-April)

* Autumn 2007 (October-December)

* Summer 2007 (May-September)

* Spring 2007 (January-April)

* Autumn 2006 (October-December)

* Summer 2006 (May-September)

* Spring 2006 (January-April)

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