Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Chemistry at Work event

Helen and I had a busy day at Manchester University's Chemistry at Work event sponsored by the RSC.
Approx 120 year 8 and 9 pupils attended from quite a wide geographical area.
This type of event is designed to introduce school pupils to scientists from industry, especially chemists, to give the young people a feel for what careers there are using chemistry.

This isn't the first event of this kind we have done and originally we wondered just what we could contribute - after all we still work in schools. We decided to create a presentation about a day in the life of a science presenter and show how we use our science knowledge to make science accessible to others.
The presentation is a behind the scenes look at how we research materials, test resources and create shows. We share how we approach explaining difficult concepts to different ages and of course we have lots of gadgets, gizmos and props to have a go with.

We have discovered that our giant hyrogel balls are an enormous success with pupils and teachers, especially this time when one of the staff had a great camera and was taking some wonderful close up shots!

Colour changing straws, our now famous thermochromic mug and some of Helen's great demos such as the Freaky hand went down well.
And then a make and take muffin bath bomb with bubble gum fragrance.

It was really great to meet up with Trinity School Manchester - we know them from our Catalyst days - a great group of youngsters!
At the start of the day Emma Lewis our host from the University side asked the schools about their views of science - we had quite a mixed bunch - not everyone was thrilled to be there! I asked some of them what they had got out of the day and was very pleasantly surprised when lots of them said how much they had enjoyed our session and were genuinely interested in how we got into our line of work.
Many thanks to Emma Lewis from the university and Kat Presland from the RSC for asking us to be part of a great day.

We have a similar event in July at Jaguar in Speke organised by MerseySTEM - so I will be keeping my eyes open for some cool resources! What a great job!