Kids are dyeing to learn more about chemistry

25 May 2004

Kids are dyeing to learn more about chemistry

SCHOOLCHILDREN from around the region will enjoy a scientific day of fun at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry, held at Aston University, tomorrow [Wednesday 26 May].

During the morning over 60 children, representing 15 Midlands' schools, will take part in a murder mystery that introduces them to the popular area of forensic science.

Here they will be given a fictional police report, which gives details of a dead body found in a ditch. Salt samples collected from the body should be enough for them to solve the murder.

The participants will already have learnt that salts have two components: a metal and non-metal part. So when they analyse the samples the children can discover whether those salts found on the dead body match those collected from the suspects.

In the afternoon, the 11-13 year olds really have to get their hands dirty to learn about the secrets of dyeing. An ancient book of dyeing processes is falling to pieces and its many secrets can only be saved if the schoolchildren are able to replicate its ancient family dyeing recipes. If they fail the secrets will be lost forever.

As well as a whole range of new analytical skills, the schoolchildren have the chance to get a cash reward for their efforts. For both the morning- and afternoon sessions there are prizes of �100 for the winners, �50 for the runners-up and �25 for the schools coming in third place.

For more information please contact: Dr Allan Amass on 0121 359 3611 or email: a.j.amass@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' festivals of chemistry are initiatives of The Salters' Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young. The festival at Aston is one of a series of 45 festivals that are taking place at universities throughout the UK and Ireland between March-June 2004.

The Salters' Company is one of the great 12 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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