Dr Alan McCue and chemistry PhD student Tomasz Majchrowski wished to inspire the next generation with their research and passion for chemistry.   

Together they organised and delivered an interactive chemistry show featuring captivating demonstrations and fascinating insights into their research. 

This project was supported by the Public Engagement with Research Enabling Fund

The team

 Dr Alan McCue (left) and PhD student Tomasz Majchrowski (right) , Department of Chemistry



Why did you engage?

We wished to engage to enhance our communicating skills. Engaging with the public is a useful and important skill to have in across all jobs and careers.  Our skills in this area have only been strengthened by recent activities. It is also important to us to be able to engage and inspire audience which we believe we have achieved with our chemistry show.

Who benefitted?

Teachers from the Primary schools found the shows a fantastic aid and an excellent enhancement to their teaching curriculum. They commented that it can be difficult teaching chemistry due to lack of expertise, and so having experts was found to be very beneficial.  

In addition, a number of the primary school children have written letters expressing their enjoyment and enthusiasm for science following the show: 

'Thank you for coming into tell us all about science, I can't wait to study science more when I'm older' Gavin P6, Elrick Primary 

'My favourite subject is science and my favourite science is chemistry so I loved your presentation and so did P7' Charlotte, P7, Mill O'Forest Primary 

'I now like science much more than I did before' Jessica, P6, Elrick Primary 

Myself and Tom also both benefitted from these shows- with a notable improvement in communicating and explaining science to a variety of different age groups.

Wider impact

An additional bonus of running these shows has resulted in new connections being formed with Dr Margaret Ritchie, the Royal Society of Chemistry Education Coordinator for Scotland.  Discussions with Dr Ritchie shall focus on how to ensure that the shows add to the current schools science curriculum and finding a way to leave a memory of the show with the schools visited.