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Fun with chemistry
Date: March 23, 2001
Forty-eight pupils from local schools will enjoy a fun-filled day and will have the chance to solve an intriguing mystery at the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry to be held at the University of Aberdeen on Tuesday, March 27th, when they will take on the role of forensic scientists.
The Salters' Chemistry Club initiative aims to make chemistry more interesting and attractive to 11-14-year-olds by setting up school Chemistry Clubs, which provide an opportunity for pupils to experiment with ‘hands-on’ chemistry where there may be limited opportunities within the curriculum. Clubs can also provide a focus for working with local science-based companies and universities.
“Seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of the young people shows how much fun chemistry can be” says Dr Alan Mawson, Chairman of the Club.
Dr Mary Masson, of the Department of Chemistry, said that the aim of the day is to show the children how exciting pure science can be as a subject.
“By organising things such as the Chalkwell Mystery, which we are keeping under wraps for the moment, we are showing the children that there is much more to chemistry than meets the eye. It is a very exciting and challenging subject, which has applications in all walks of life. This is what we hope to convey to the children.”
On the morning of March 27, each of the teams will take part in a practical challenge in which they will become forensic scientists. In the afternoon, the youngsters will compete in a chemical “egg race”, followed by a fun lecture complete with lots of pops and bangs by Dr Don Macphee, of the University’s Chemistry Department.
At the prizegiving at the end of the afternoon, the winning schools will receive cash prizes and a range of fun prizes for the pupils.
This year’s festival is sponsored by ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil, and its subsidiaries in the UK, Esso and Mobil, have long supported a wide range of educational activities through a targeted programme of support in areas relevant to a major integrated oil company operating throughout the UK. ExxonMobil has a link school strategy in place to help schools work in the area of Science, Technology Mathematics, Environmental Education, and Careers Advice.
Steve Docherty, Production Manager, for Mobil North Sea Limited in Aberdeen
said, “The company is delighted to work with Salters’ and Aberdeen University
on this innovative programme which promotes a better understanding of science
and technology. I hope that the young people who have attended the
Festival will have a better understanding of the benefits they can bring
to society through working with chemistry.”
For further information, contact:
Dr Mary Masson, Department of Chemistry, University of Aberdeen on (01224) 272931, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Maureen Westmarland, The Salters' Institute, on (0207) 628-5962, or e-mail email@example.com
University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.