Today chemistry@brighton welcomes 21 schools from Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London for the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry. Teams of year 7 and 8 children undertake two practical challenges one set by Salters and one by the university with the opportunity to compete for prizes along the way. chemistry@brighton staff are involved in judging, technical assistance, chemistry quiz and the teacher programme for the day. This is an annual event which we host each year enabling students to gain practical experience in our laboratories whilst having fun competing against other schools in the South East.
This month has seen the launch of a new widening participation initiative by chemistry@brighton. STEP UP has been designed to inspire students at 16-18 level and work with their teachers to provide opportunities for those students who show promise but are perhaps not so good at the traditional exam. Working with local schools in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex our aim is to show that chemistry@brighton is a real possibility for them. We have activities lined up to supplement their current studies including a lab experience day, taster lectures, study skills and work experience. Teachers are able to highlight to us students who have potential to succeed but for whatever reason might not see that result at A level. Working with the teachers we can then offer preferential admission to select students.
This week we once again played host to the Salters Festival of Chemistry. This is an annual event which brings together schools from all over East and West Sussex and some in Surrey and Kent as well.
They had an entertaining day starting with an introduction to chemistry and Brighton and where chemistry can take you. Then it was on to the first practical activity, The Salters’ Challenge. This was a murder mystery where the pupils used our laboratories and equipment to idenitfy some unknown substances and nail the suspect. Some great forensic sleuthing from all involved!
After lunch was the University Challenge (not the quiz show!). This involved identifying functional groups and testing chemicals to produce a spectrum of colour. Then both pupils and their teachers were treated to a Chemical Magic show from our very own Professor Hal Sosabowski.
Final part of the day was the prizegiving. All of the schools performed very well and there were some tough decsions for the judges. Final results were:
|Salters’ Challenge||University Challenge|
|1st||Farlington School, Horsham||Brighton College, Brighton|
|2nd||The Hawthorns School, Bletchingley||Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham|
|3rd||Priory School, Lewes||Lavant House, Chichester|
We hope everyone that came enjoyed their day and saw how exciting university chemistry can be. Thanks to all of our staff involved with the day and for the schools for being so keen and enthusiastic. We’ll see you next year!