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March 2019

Children from years 7,8 and 9 experience hands-on practical chemistry.

Teams of four, from 20 schools in and around the East of England,  took part in two Salters' Festivals of Chemistry in the department teaching lab.

The first Festival saw Year 7and 8 students competing in two fun challenges, one set by Salters’ and the other set by the department. The Salters’ Challenge, “One of our Elements is Missing!”, required analytical chemistry skills to discover who had stolen the Tungsten from the Periodic Table. The second, Department of Chemistry Challenge, asked the teams to separate food dyes using a chromatography column.

Prizes were awarded for both challenges by our panel of judges which included scientists from the University and also from Cambridge science and technology companies.

Salters’ Challenge Winners

  • 1st Prize New Hall School, Chelmsford
  • 2nd Prize The Greneway School, Royston
  • 3rd Prize St Bede's School, Cambridge

University Challenge Winners

  • 1st Prize Cottenham Village College, Cambridge
  • 2nd Prize Coleridge Community College, Cambridge
  • 3rd Prize St Faith's School, Cambridge

After the prize giving ceremony the combatants enjoyed a demonstration lecture on the Periodic Table (to mark the International Year of The Periodice Table) given by Dr Peter Wothers.

The second Festival was for Year 9 students. The focus for this day was an extended practical investigation using chemistry techniques which were new to the students.  They worked with our Postgraduate and Postdoctoral students, gaining an insight into working in a University lab and giving them the opportunitiy to ask questions about University life in general.


NB. The Salters’ Institute plays a major role in the support of chemistry teaching, the encouragement of young people to pursue careers in the UK chemical industries, and the promotion of chemical education including the whole area of curriculum development.