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Kids get a bang out of fun-packed chemistry day

20 May 2003

Kids get a bang out of fun-packed chemistry day

SCHOOLCHILDREN from around the region will enjoy a scientific day of fun at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry, held at Aston University, 21 May.

During the morning 15 teams representing their schools will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity, 'The Salters' Challenge', using analytical skills to solve a mystery crime that introduces them to the popular area of forensic science.

In the afternoon, the 11-13 year olds will compete in the 'University Challenge', a practical activity requiring them to dye fabrics and investigate the fixing of dyes and methods of applying patterns to textiles. This will be followed by a entertaining lecture by Dr Steve Tonge which involves giant bubbles, computerised modelling of chemical structures and a microscopic demonstration of living cells.

The day will end with a prize-giving at which the winning teams will be awarded cash prizes for their schools and individual prizes for each team member.

The Salters' Festivals of Chemistry are an initiative of The Salters' Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young. The festival at Aston University is one of a series of 45 festivals that are taking place at universities throughout the UK and Ireland between March-June 2003.

AstraZeneca plc, Elementis and Pfizer Limited have made generous contributions towards the general funding of the festivals. Geoff Gaywood, Chief Executive of Elementis, said: 'As a specialty chemical company, Elementis is pleased to be able to support the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry.

'The hands-on opportunities provided at the festivals are very exciting for children with an interest in science. Experiencing a real laboratory environment will hopefully encourage many to pursue science throughout their education and beyond.'

For more information please contact: Dr Steve Tonge on 0121 359 3611 or email: s.tonge@aston.ac.uk or Maureen Westmarland/ Clare Bell, The Salters' Institute, on 020 7628 5962, email: festivals@salters.co.uk

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For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

Notes for Editors:

The Salters' Company is one of the great twelve city of London livery companies, founded in 1394 for the salt trade. Today, the Company's activities centre on charitable and educational giving. The Salters' Institute, established in 1918, and now the flagship of the Salters' activities, aims to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry in the UK chemical and allied industries.

The Institute's three core activities are the Salters Chemistry Club and Salters' Festivals of Chemistry for 11-14 year olds; Salters' Chemistry Camps for 15 year olds, in partnership with other scientific institutions, and curriculum development, undertaken at the University of York, including Salters' GCSE Science and Advanced Level Salters' Chemistry, Salters Horners Physics and Salters-Nuffield Biology.

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