Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies

Young students join researchers in solving sustainability issues around plastic.

Fri Jan 16 15:15:00 GMT 2015

Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) opened its doors to 20 students of Year 7 – 8 from The Paragon and Prior Park College who had come to present and discuss their results from a study that explored degradation of different types of plastic in water and the environmental consequences.

Young students join researchers in solving sustainability issues.In June 2014, Dr Antoine Buchard, our Whorrod Research Fellow was awarded a Royal Society Partnership Grant to carry out this project together with Dr Kathryn Rix and Ms Frances Haynes, from College’s Junior Science Departement.

In May 2014, the students synthesised polystyrene and poly(lactid acid) (PLA) and devised experimental protocols to study and quantify the degradation of both plastics in different conditions (acid, basic, warm water, pond water and so on), over a period of 3 months.

George Gregory and Paul McKeown, our 2nd year PhD students from  Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemical Technologies, were pleased to be part of this project acting as role models for the young students and an inspiration for them to further explore this field of science.

Dr Antoine Buchard said “The children did a fantastic job. They conducted an actual scientific investigation and devised experimental protocols that will be very useful for us. They presented a very critical analysis of their results and their questions often made me reflect upon my work. I really enjoyed taking part in this project. They really engaged with the subject and are now fully convinced that the future of plastics is renewable polymers! Younger audiences really respond to the concept of sustainability and I think it deserves a bigger place in the school curriculum."

Related news:

Antoine Buchard funded to work with schools - CSCT News
Royal Society grant awarded to Dr Buchard - University of Bath website
Junior Science Boosted by Grant from The Royal Society - Prior Park College website


For more information, please contact:

Rubina Kalra
Digital Communications Co-ordinator
Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies 

e-mail: R.Kalra@bath.ac.uk
Tel: 01225 385827

Notes to editor:

About CSCT:

Established in 2008, the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies brings together academic expertise from the University of Bath with international industrial, academic and stakeholder partners to carry out research, training and outreach in sustainable chemical technologies. We have attracted over £25m in overall funding for our activities and the centre has rapidly become an important hub for sustainable chemistry in the UK.