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Explosions and experiments as chemistry comes to life at festival

Press release issued: 14 May 2012

Over 100 pupils from across the South West will try their hand at forensic science when they take part in the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry which is being held at the University of Bristol.

The youngsters, from 26 schools, will pit their science skills against each other at the annual event which takes place tomorrow and Wednesday [15 and 16 May].

Each school will be represented by a team of four 11 to 13-year-olds, who will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity to try and solve a murder using their analytical chemistry skills. 

In the afternoon, they will compete in the University Challenge, a practical activity chosen by academics from Bristol University.

Tim Harrison, Director of Outreach at the University's Bristol ChemLabS, will give a fun lecture involving explosions and experiments with dry ice and liquid nitrogen.

He said: “Events such as these are important for three main reasons - first, it gives a chance for students to represent their schools in a competition other than sports, drama or music, second it gives some of the best young chemists in their schools an opportunity to see what a university chemistry department can offer and, third, to have some fun.”

The day will end with a prize giving at which all participants will be given individual fun prizes and participation certificates, with the winning teams being awarded prizes for their schools.

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 Bristol University is one of a series of 54 festivals taking place at universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2012.

The event is in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry and sponsored by ChemLabS.

Further information

Please contact Tim Harrison for further information.