Primary Schools Outreach Events Summer 2010

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27 July: Fragrance Chemistry Workshop Bristol ChemLabS

perfume31 students, all offspring or friends of University of Bristol employees aged from 10 to 13 spent the morning at the School of Chemistry engaged in fragrance chemistry activities.

The morning started with a lecture demonstration on perfume chemistry. After a break the students moved to the teaching labs to investigate the molecular structure of some of the individual components of perfumes and to produce and package a bottle of their own choice of fragrance to take home.

STEM Ambassadors assisting the students were Alison Rivett, Ben Cheesman and Jane Fletcher. Dr Dave McMorran from Otago University in New Zealand also assisted.

Two further days of activities for older offspring took place later in the week.

Tim Harrison Director of Outreach at Bristol ChemLabS said "Last year when we started hosting workshop days for employees' children we were asked to run sessions for younger students. This is the result. We are delighted to be able to offer similar activities and will expect to do so again next year."

Report in Bristol Evening Post

15 July: Next Generation Project Awards Day, Imperial College London

Tim Harrison gave the keynote address to an audience of 180 Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils from Salisbury Primary School, together with their teachers and some of their parents, at the Next Generation Project Awards Day at Imperial College in London. The pupils, from the East End of London enjoyed the talk 'Why science is important to this and future generations' particularly the many experiments which were demonstrated.

"Thank you so much for your talk to the children today, it will live long in the memory and that's not only the children!" Wayne Mitchell (Organiser).

02 July: Year 5 Science Visits, Cotswold School, Gloucs

cotswoldSTEM Ambassadors Jane Fletcher and Kate Hanford worked with a total of 60 Year 5 pupils from 4 primary schools that feed into Cotswold School. The pupils experienced two practical investigations involving acids and polymers.

01 July: St James' & Ebrington C of E Primary School, Chipping Campden

A team from Bristol ChemLabS delivered a series of workshops and a demonstration assembly at this Gloucestershire primary school as part of a day-long Science Festival, in conjunction with the Science Department from Chipping Campden School.  Alison Rivett's exploding balloons were the highlight of the assembly for many of the 200 pupils, including some very brave Reception children.  Afterwards the whole of KS2 (100 children) did some science experiments about mystery acids and sticky slime with postgraduate chemists Raquel Vaz, Jane Fletcher and Kate Hanford. 

The teacher, Mrs East, said afterwards "The children absolutely loved the day and haven't stopped talking about it!"

Images of the day can be found on the school web site here and here

The Cotswold Journal visited during the day and the article can be found here.


28 June: Bromley Heath Junior School, Bristol

Bristol ChemLabS once again visited this north Bristol school to kick their Science Week off with a bang.  The 240 KS2 children enjoyed an exciting assembly all about Chemical Reactions by Alison Rivet.  Postgraduate chemists Siti Haslie, Cathy Cooper and Noor Haide then worked with the 60 Y6 pupils in 2 practical workshops.  The school was grateful to receive a small grant from the local section of the RSC.

28 June: St. Werburg's Primary School, Bristol

STEM Ambassador Zahra Mahmoud spent the morning working with Year 5 pupils in Louise Brice's class at the local primary school. The 22 pupils investigated paper chromatography of the water soluble inks in felt pens and then investigated their sense of smell with a competition involving fragrance chemicals.

24 June: 'Science Challenge', Enfield. London

Two hundred guests representing 30 Enfield primary schools and 11 secondary schools entered the 2010 Enfield Science and Technology Challenge for children and young people from nursery age through to post 16.

The evening event was hosted by Oasis Academy, Innova Park, Enfield and saw Tim Harrison give a 45 minute lecture demonstration to the mixed age audience on the 'Chemistry of Perfumes'.

23 June: Sir John Colfox School, Dorset

For the 4th year running a team from Bristol ChemLabS helped run a science day for this secondary school's local primary pupils. The 50 Year 5's gave Alison Rivett's demonstration assembly about the 'Gases in the Air' a very enthusiastic response! They then worked on a series of practial experiments with a multi-national team of STEM Ambassadors Siti Haslie, Shirin Alexander & Raquel Vaz.

21 June: Elmlea Primary School Visit to the University of Bristol

75 Year 6 pupils and several of their teachers from the Bristol-based school paid a visit to the School of Chemistry as part of a very busy day-long schedule organised through the Widening Participation Office. The students were highly entertained by Tim Harrison's lecture demo on 'Fragrance Chemistry'. The students enjoyed many of the fragrances they were presented with but did not enjoy the smell of the backside of the civet cat quite as much as that of spearmint!

16 June: Bristol Primary School's G&T Conference, Bristol

Alison Rivett entertained an excited audience of over 130 of Bristol's gifted and talented primary students from a wide range of state schools at the School of Chemistry. It was the first time that many of the students had been inside a lecture theatre at any university. The event was co-sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Bristol City Council.

11 June: Chipping Sodbury Festival, South Gloucestershire

Tim Harrison presented 'Gases in the Air' to 40 Year 6 pupils from local primary schools as part of the opening of the 25th anniversary of the festival. The event was held in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall and was partly sponsored by the Bristol and District Branch of the RSC.

10 June: Science Afternoon, Westbury Park School, Bristol

Professor Varinder Aggarwal, Jane Fletcher, Nisha Doshi, Siti Haji Awang Haslie and Tim Harrison spent the afternoon at the local school with 60 Year 5 students. The pupils enjoyed a demonstration talk on 'Gases in the Air'. A practical exercise then followed with the pupils investigating some aspects of polymers. The afternoon finished with a discussion of 'what scientists do'.

"Tim, just to say a big 'thanks' to you and your team for a fabulous afternoon. The show of hands from the children wanting to be scientists was proof enough that it was brilliant." William Ewen, Teacher at Westbury Park.

09 June: St. John's C.E. V.C. Primary School, Clifton, Bristol

Tim Harrison presented an early morning assembly on the topic 'Gases in the Air' to all 300 pupils at the local school. The explosions of several hydrogen filled balloons were particularly well received.


18 May: Bishop's Road School, Bristol

A team from Bristol ChemLabS led by Alison Rivett returned to this large Bristol primary school to run hands-on science sessions with all three of their Year 6 classes.  The 84 pupils worked hard on a hot day with STEM Ambassadors Siti Haslie, Aoife Grant & Monika Zeleznik on experiments involving acids, colour-changes and some strange slime. The school received a grant from the local section of the RSC to assist with the costs of the day.

11 May: The Kings Junior School, Gloucesterkingswood

Bristol ChemLabS spent the day at this independent junior school where Alison Rivett delivered an exiting demonstration assembly for the whole school, around 150 children. Afterwards the 70 Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils worked with postgraduate students Siti Haslie, Rachel Wellington and Mindy Dulai from the University on a series of practical chemistry workshops, observed by Fiona Gill, a post-doctoral chemist. The school was pleased to receive a small grant from the local section of the RSC.

Afterwards the teacher, Carey Hadfield, said "A very big thank you from all of us here for your visit to us.  Everyone - staff & pupils - loved every minute of the day and it was great to see the whole school clearly enjoying science and equally learning such a lot.  We all commented on how wonderful it was to see the older children so engrossed in what they were doing in the workshops. They learned a huge amount of science, but it was also nice to observe a real spirit of teamwork running through the mixed age groups.  We were all very impressed with you and your team of helpers and think you did an excellent job - real value for money. We shall definitely be asking you to come again in a couple of years time!"


27 April: Stroud High School Gloucestershire

Bristol ChemLabS returned to this Gloucestershire secondary school to provide a day of science activities for pupils from nearby primary feeder schools.  The 88 Year 4, 5 and 6 children from St Matthews, Rosary and Randwick first saw a series of chemical demonstrations by Alison Rivett.  They then worked with STEM Ambassadors Katie Bayliss, Mike Garland and Kaizhong Fan on 3 different practical activities.

One of the teachers commented afterwards "Fantastic sessions - all enjoyed the activities.  Lovely to see less academically able children engage positively with their learning".


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