Chemistry in action
16 July 2008
Bristol ChemLabS’ busy outreach schedule continues, kicking off in July with an international summer school organised jointly with Trinity College Dublin and a year 12 chemistry experience camp.
Bristol ChemLabS-Trinity College Dublin International Chemistry Summer School
More than 60 year 11 and year 12 students expecting to complete A-level chemistry or its equivalent took part in the third international chemistry summer school run jointly by Bristol ChemLabS, the University’s Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the School of Chemistry, and Trinity College Dublin.
The students, comprising residents of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Malta, spent time both in the Bristol ChemLabS Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories in Bristol and at Trinity College Dublin undertaking experiments that cannot normally be performed in schools.
This was the first time that Maltese students had attended the Bristol leg of the two-city summer school. The Maltese student connection came about after a lecture demonstration tour of Maltese church schools by Tim Harrison, Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow, and Professor Dudley Shallcross, Bristol ChemLabS Outreach Director, in October 2007.
Practical sessions undertaken by the students included extracting caffeine from tea leaves, analysing the hardness of Irish tap waters (Dublin has two sources of drinking water) and synthesising paracetamol. Industrial and cultural visits as well as lectures and talks formed part of the programme.
Tim Harrison said: ‘The increasing popularity of this summer school is such that consideration is already being given to a separate, second week of the event being run in 2009.’
Year 12 University Chemistry Experience Camp
This two-day residential course, designed to support year 12 students who are considering studying chemical sciences at university, gave participants the chance to attend lectures, seminars and practical work in the Bristol ChemLabS Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories. The programme, run by staff from the Universities of Bath, Plymouth and Southampton as well as Bristol, included a tour of the School of Chemistry, a talk on what it is like to be a university student and a lecture demonstration entitled ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ by Professor Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison, involving liquid nitrogen, oxygen foam, dry ice and a few explosions.
Teachers who wish to be regularly updated about Bristol ChemLabS summer schools and other outreach activities can be added to the CHeMneT mailing list by contacting Sue Williams, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +44 (0)117 928 8313.