Pupils from across the South West became forensic scientists for the day at the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry held at the University of Bath on Tuesday 15 and Thursday 17 May.
Each school was represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds. During the morning the teams took part in a competitive murder mystery challenge in which they used forensic skills to analyse the evidence from the crime scene and decide ‘whodunnit’.
In the afternoon, they competed in the “University Challenge”, a practical activity chosen by the University, in which they were required to “Fix the Tardis” before Dr Who fell prey to the daleks!
This was followed by a fun lecture, given by Dr Mike Hill and Dr Randolf Köhn (Department of Chemistry), involving flashes, bangs, mini volcanoes, screaming jelly babies and much more.
The day ended with a prizegiving at which all participants were given individual fun prizes and participation certificates and the winning teams were awarded prizes for their schools.
Organiser Dr Simon Lewis, a lecturer in chemistry at the University of Bath, said: “The teams have all had a fantastic day out, they’ve had a chance to try their hand at using chemistry to solve problems and hopefully they will go away with the realisation that not only is chemistry important in every aspect of our lives, but it can also be fun!”
The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry is an initiative of The Salters’ Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young. The festival at the University of Bath was one of a series of 54 festivals taking place at universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2012.
The festivals were held in partnership with the Salters’ Institute and the Royal Society of Chemistry.