Chemistry at Work - July 2015

 July 02 2015 | Views: 2393

Kent and Medway

Chemistry at Work - an exciting and engaging way for students to interact with local organisations based in the chemical sciences.

Over 270 students from schools across Kent and Medway attended yet another extraordinary Chemistry at Work event at Canterbury Christ Church University on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July 2015. The event opened students’ understanding to the wide range of applications and careers which involve chemistry.

The annual event is organised by Kent & Medway STEM supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Secondary school students from years 9 and 10 visit a range of interactive presentations by Canterbury Christ Church University staff and volunteer STEM Ambassadors who work for local companies.

Workshops introduced a range of chemical processes including making toothpaste, ph testing and the chemistry of medicines. Students undertook experiments, recorded results and learnt about important applications of chemistry in the work place.

The world needs more chemical scientists, and chemistry skills can lead our young people into a vast range of fulfilling careers.

Each school visited an hour long show called Inferno! The Science of Fire with plenty of spectacular effects from a fire tornado, cannon fire and coloured flames. Students and their teachers learnt about the science of fire as well as how an explosion occurs in an internal combustion engine. The show, by Key Stage Solutions, is always a favorite. A student from Highworth Grammar School commented: ‘I really loved doing experiments and seeing practicals’

Canterbury Christ Church University staff yet again supported the event with enthusiasm. The School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing, Forensic Investigation Team introduced students to the process of collecting and analysing finger prints. The School of Human and Life Sciences got students measuring the effect of different coloured lights on a photosynthetic organism. From the Faculty of Education; Maria Elsam and 3rd year undergraduate student, Claire Hofer, asked students to design and test their own toothpaste. ¬†A student from Community College Whitstable said: ‘Really good, I particularly enjoyed learning about all the kind of careers in chemistry. Also everyone was really friendly and welcomed us into a science workplace and showed us what it would be like at University. Thank you!’

Pfizer STEM Ambassadors led hands on activity to explain recycling using spectrometers which allowed  students to determine the identity of a number of different polymers. STEM Ambassadors from DSTL demonstrated how chemistry enables us to detect explosives with students taking part in a particle detection activity.

Promoting routes into chemistry through both university and apprenticeships were two inspiring STEM Ambassadors from QinetiQ who made the students jump with a sparks and bangs, looking at the chemistry of explosives and what makes them look and sound like they do. Axia Chemicals, assisted by STEM Ambassadors, allowed students a chance to test out a range of activities which focused on chemical elements and their compounds. Students were able to view 3D representations of protein-drug interactions with Vulpine Science and Learning.

Refreshing strawberries were tasted and their sugar content tested and the Brix level measured in a session by Hugh Lowe Farms. Prometheus Forensics’ presented the scientific side to extinguishing and identifying the origin and causes of fire.

Medway School of Pharmacy was represented by STEM Ambassador Min who introduced a range of plants and their uses in modern medicines. The School of Biosciences at University of Kent asked pupils to test the ph in liquids such as coke-a-cola and washing-up liquid in a session focused around ant stings

Chemistry at Work would not be possible without the support of our fantastic volunteer STEM Ambassadors. Kent & Medway STEM would like to thank all of those involved. To register your interest to attend or present at Chemistry at Work 2016 please email kentandmedwaystem@canterbury.ac.uk


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If you would like The STEM Hub to help organise an event like this for your school/setting then please contact us today:
Email: kentandmedwaystem@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel: 01227 782662

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