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.