University of Aberdeen Takes you to the main page for this section

latest releases | archive

Fun with Chemistry

Young scientists will take part in an action-packed day at the University of Aberdeen this week.

Sixty four pupils from nine schools across the North-East are participating in the Salters' Festival of Chemistry being held at the University on Wednesday, March 28.

Each school will be represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds and will take part in competitive, hands-on, practical activities.

During the morning the teams will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity,      "A Salty Tale" in which they will use their analytical chemistry and problem solving skills.  In the afternoon, they will compete in the "University Challenge", a practical activity chosen by the University, in which they will once again have a problem to solve with the help of chemistry. This will be followed by a fun lecture which will be given by Brian Paterson.

The day will conclude with a prize-giving ceremony, when the winning teams will be given cash prizes for their schools and all participants will be given individual fun prizes and participation certificates.

This is the seventh Festival of its kind to take place at the University.  Dr Mary Masson, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Event Organiser, said: "The University of Aberdeen is a keen supporter of the annual Salters' Festival and is keen to host events that help to get young people excited about the subject. 

"We are looking forward to welcoming school pupils from across the North-East to the event. The pupils always respond with enthusiasm to the challenge of the competitions, involving detective work and problem-solving, as well as chemistry.

"We hope that some of the pupils may be interested in studying chemistry in the future - there is a shortage of chemists in the North-East at present, both in oil-related industries and in school teaching."

The Salters' Festival of Chemistry is an initiative of The Salters' Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young.  The Festival at the University of Aberdeenis one of a series of 52 Festivals taking place at universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2006.

The Institute is delighted that the Royal Society of Chemistry is again working in partnership with it for the Festivals this year.

 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 2007 there will be a series of fifty-five Festivals 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). Cash prizes for the winning schools totalling £350 are awarded at each Festival and all participants receive fun prizes and certificates.   During the last six years over 15,500 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry.

3. Since 1991 sponsorship in 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 mediaeval 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' activities, 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 Chemistry Club and Salters' Festivals of Chemistry for 11 to 14 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 Advanced Chemistry, Salters Horners Advanced Physics and Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology.

For further information on the Salters' Festival of Chemistry being held at the University of Aberdeen, please contact Dr Mary Masson, Dr Mary Masson, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Event Organiser, on: (01224) 272931 or email: href=""></a></strong></p>

or contact:
Miss Lesley Grout, Communications Manager, The Salters' Institute, on: (020) 7628 5962 ext 260 or visit:


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Tuesday 27th of March 2007

Contact: Angela Ferguson

<< back

University Switchboard: +44 (0)1224 272000
Enquiries about studying at The University of Aberdeen should be directed to