Chemistry project receives further accolade
Press release issued: 7 July 2009
A Bristol University project that is bringing chemistry to life for thousands of schoolchildren has been ‘Highly Commended’ in Business in the Community's Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award. The accolade was given at a reception at St James’s Palace last night [6 July].
Bristol ChemLabS – short for Bristol Chemical Laboratory Sciences – was launched in 2005. It is a HEFCE-funded national Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and includes a strong schools-outreach programme.
The commendation follows last month’s award to Bristol ChemLabS of a Business in the Community Big Tick award for the project’s positive and sustained impact on the community. This was the first Big Tick ever awarded to a university department for outreach activities and the first awarded to an educational programme in the chemical sciences.
Bristol ChemLabS was one of only seven Big Tick winners in its category that were put forward for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award. The winner was Pinsent Masons LLP while Bristol ChemLabS – the only university entry – was ‘Highly Commended’.
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award recognises company community programmes that raise the achievement of young people through building sustainable partnerships with schools to the benefit of pupils aged between five and 19 years.
The judges were impressed by the scale of the ChemLabS schools outreach programme and its impact on the aspirations and achievements of young people. Over 30,000 students have been engaged during the past year.
The quality of engagement with teachers was also highlighted as an example that could be followed by other companies active in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Discover Labskills project, launched in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry and Pfizer, allows all chemistry teacher trainees and their pupils to use a new, innovative e-learning tool – the LabSkills Schools Dynamic Lab Manual developed jointly by Bristol ChemLabS and Learning Science Ltd.
Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: ‘The outreach activity undertaken by Bristol ChemLabS has been consistently brilliant. The Big Tick award and this additional commendation reflect a huge amount of inspired work. I warmly congratulate the ChemLabS team.’