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Salters’ Festival of Chemistry

Last week students from 10 local schools across the Midlands enjoyed an interesting fun-filled day of chemistry at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry hosted by Dr Gareth Griffiths (EAS)

Students from 10 local schools across the Midlands enjoyed an interesting fun-filled day of chemistry at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry at the University hosted by Dr Gareth Griffiths (EAS) on 11 May. Each school was represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds.

During the morning the teams took part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity, “There has been a murder!” a mock ‘who-dunnit’ in which the children had to conduct simple tests, produced a forensic report and draw a conclusion on who the murderer was. In the afternoon, they competed in the “University Challenge”, a practical activity which saw the young chemists conduct a fabric dye test. This was followed by a ‘Chemical Magic demonstration by Dr 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. 

Dr Gareth Griffiths gives his Chemical Magic Show

The day ended with a prize giving presentation which saw Hagley Catholic High School take the Salter’s Festival 1st prize and Grace Academy take the 1st prize in the University Challenge. The winning teams were awarded £25 for 3rd place, £50 for 2nd place and £100 for 1st place for their schools. Every student who participated in the day won a prize. 

Dr Gareth Griffiths commented that it had been a real pleasure to have so many enthusiastic young people partaking in a chemistry festival and that he hoped many would be inspired to consider it as a career choice for the future following the fun packed day.  

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 many Festivals which are taking place at Universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland throughout spring /summer 2011.

Aston is delighted that the Royal Society of Chemistry is again working in partnership with the University for the Festivals this year.

For more information please contact: Dr Gareth Griffiths on ext 3415 or g.griffiths@aston.ac.uk.

17 May 2011

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