Aston University hosts Salters’ Festival of Chemistry

Dr Gareth Griffiths giving his 'Chemical Magic' demonstration at the 2011 Salters' Festival
Dr Gareth Griffiths giving his 'Chemical Magic' demonstration at the 2011 Salters' Festival

8 May 2012

Students from 15 secondary schools in the West Midlands are set to enjoy a fun-filled day of chemistry at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry taking place at Aston University on Wednesday 9 May. 

Each school will be represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds and will see them take part in a series of chemistry challenges. During the morning the teams of students will take part in a practical, hands-on activity - “The Salters’ Challenge – Money, Money, Money" - in which they will use their analytical chemistry skills. In the afternoon, they will compete in the “University Challenge” and be treated to an interactive "Chemical Magic" demonstration by Aston University's Dr Gareth Griffiths involving exciting experiments such as ‘the dancing raisins’ and the 'Bangham flambé' experiment in which he extinguished an ether fire using a special type of oil. 

The day will end with a Prizegiving at which all participants will be given individual fun prizes and participation certificates. The winning teams will be awarded prizes for their schools.

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 54 Festivals which are taking place at universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2012.

For more information please contact: Dr Gareth Griffiths, Aston University on 0121 204 3415 or at g.griffiths@aston.ac.uk or visit  www.festivalsofchemistry.co.uk.

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For more information please contact: Miss Fleur Layzell, Publicity Co-ordinator at The Salters' Institute on 020 7628 5962 ext 260 or at publicity@salters.co.uk.

Editors Notes

1.  The Festivals are one-day events for schools held at Universities throughout the UK and Ireland.  The first series of Festivals was held in 1991.  Festivals were then held in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.  Since 2000 Festivals have been held every year.  In 2012 there will be a series of 53 Festivals being hosted by 40 universities between March and June.  The aim of the Festivals is to make chemistry more exciting, more relevant and fun to students aged 11 to 13 years and to encourage schools to set up their own chemistry clubs.

2.  Competing schools are represented by a team of four students from years 7 or 8 (or equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Prizes for the winning schools are awarded at each Festival and all participants receive fun prizes and certificates.   During the last eleven years, over 31,500 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry.

3.  Since 1991 sponsorship support of the Festivals has been raised from over one hundred companies. Many of the Festivals are also sponsored by local companies. 

4.  The Salters’ Company is one of the Great Twelve City of London Livery Companies and was founded in 1394 for the medieval trade in salt.  The Company’s activities today are centred on charitable and educational giving.  The Salters' Institute, established in 1918, and now the Flagship Charity of the Salters' Company, aims to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

5.  The Institute’s three core activities are the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry for 11 to 13 year olds; Salters' Chemistry Camps for those aged 15, in partnership with other scientific institutions, and Curriculum Development, undertaken at The University of York, including Twenty First Century Science and Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology, Salters Advanced Chemistry and Salters Horners Advanced Physics.