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Pupils sample salts, slime and life at UEA

School children from around the region took part in colourful hands-on workshops and were given a chemical magic show as part of a bid to promote Chemistry.

The Salters' Festival of Chemistry, which was held at the University of East Anglia on 28 and 29 April, gave pupils a taste of university life and encouraged them to pursue careers in the UK chemical industry.

More than 150 pupils in Years 8 and 9 came from 37 schools for the two-day event - one of 50 happening across universities in the UK and Ireland. Each school was represented by a team of four 11 – 13 year olds who sampled life at UEA and the joys of chemistry and thoroughly enjoyed an interesting and fun-filled day.During the morning the teams took part in a competitive, hands-on practical activity, “Murder(?) at Saltmarsh Farm”, in which they used their analytical chemistry skills to match salt samples found at the scene of the crime with samples found on the suspects.In the afternoon they competed in the “University Challenge”, and modified the properties of slime to give it just the right viscosity to act as a minute timer. The pupils then got a chance to sit back and enjoy “Chemical Magic” a fun demonstration lecture, by Ray and Rosemary Plevey involving a kaleidoscope of colourful reactions demonstrated in a light-hearted manner. The festivals concluded with prizes for winners of the challenges.

The Salters’ Festivals of Chemistry are an initiative of The Salters’ Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young. The festivals at The University of East Anglia are part of a series of 55 Festivals which are taking place at Universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2009.The event was coordinated by Dr Simon Lancaster, who said: “The schoolchildren used logic and forensic chemistry to investigate a suspicious death at Saltmarsh Farm and their problem solving skills to make a timer out of slime. It was a fun opportunity for them to sample the university environment and raise their interest in chemistry.”

Norfolk schools at the event were:

  • Copleston High School
  • Debenham CE High School
  • Downham Market High School
  • Gresham’s Preparatory School
  • Holywells High School
  • Ipswich High School for GirlsLangley School
  • Long Stratton High School
  • Lynn Grove VA High School
  • Northgate High School
  • Norwich High School for Girls
  • Thetford Grammar School
  • Stalham High School
  • Stradbroke Business and Enterprise College
  • The Thurstable School
  • Thorpe St. Andrew School
  • Wayland Community High School
  • Worlingham Middle School
  • Acle High School
  • Aylsham High School
  • Charles Burrell Humanities School
  • Cliff Park High School Gorleston
  • Colchester Royal Grammar School Colchester
  • Hartismere High School Eye
  • Hethersett High School & science College
  • Kesgrave High School
  • King Edward VII School
  • Litcham High School
  • North Walsham High School
  • Pakefield Middle School
  • Reepham High School
  • Sewell Park College
  • St. Felix School
  • Thomas Mills High School
  • Town Close House Preparatory School
  • Wymondham High School