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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


Could you help? Chemistry Open Day, part of the Cambridge Science Festival, is on Saturday 16 March and we are looking for volunteers to supervise the following hands-on experiments and demonstrations: 

  • Elephant Toothpaste; Dry Ice Experiments; Lava Lamps
  • Rainbow water; Zinc plating coins; Red Cabbage indicator
  • Electrochemical writing; Liquid Nitrogen demonstration; Liquid Nitrogen ice-cream

The event is mainly aimed at younger children, with the emphasis on things that they can get involved in themselves, and eye-catching experiments.

We typically have around 1500 visitors over the course of the day, and the atmosphere is always lively. It is a really worthwhile event, and a great opportunity to welcome the public into the Department.

You can get involved either as an individual or with friends: teams work particularly well as some of the activities are very popular. As supervisors, you will be responsible for setting up one of our regular activities (see the list below - they are all tried and tested, and ready to go) and running it on the day with the help of undergraduate volunteers. Doors open to the public at 10:00 and close at 16:00.

Although volunteering for Open Day will give you a credit in your Graduate Training Log, the important part is the obvious enjoyment and fun that our visitors have. We always have a great deal of positive feedback.

Please email Emma Powney directly on if you would like to help or you would like any more information.


We shot this film at the 2018 Open Day to explain that chemistry is not for everyone – just those who enjoy getting messy and producing strange concoctions. Only people who like fire, loud bangs and making their own ice cream without a freezer should become chemists. Oh wait, that's everyone, right..?