Chemistry camp inspires scientists of the future

More than 100 students selected from schools all over the UK came to the University of Bath last week to take part in two residential Salters’ Chemistry Camps for 15-year olds.

The camps, which ran from 9-11 July and 11-13 July, helped students to participate in the fun of chemistry and motivate them to develop both awareness of, and a long-term interest in the subject through an action-packed programme.

Each student was given an opportunity to tackle a variety of new activities. They got the chance to investigate chemiluminescence or ‘cold light’, a reaction that causes jellyfish to glow in the dark, before exploring the same oscillating reaction that gives tigers their stripes!

Other exciting tasks for participants included producing a photograph without a camera involving a process called cyanotyping, better known as ‘blue printing’, and students also got to be amateur detectives for the day.

But it wasn’t all chemistry; there was also a varied social programme for the Campers including orienteering and a fun quiz.

The camps were coordinated by Dr John Lowe and Dr Anneke Lubben from the University’s Department of Chemistry.

Dr Lowe said: “The chemistry camps are a great opportunity for students from all over the country, from Cornwall to Yorkshire, to experience what it's like to work in a high-tech scientific lab for a few days.

Henry Blake (Broadlands School, Keynsham) was one of over 100 pupils at the residential chemistry camp

“They got to do some really interesting experiments, from making paracetamol to making chemical clocks.

“In addition, a lot of the students were excited about getting a taster of university life and spending a couple of nights in university accommodation away from home.”

The Salters’ Chemistry Camps at the University of Bath are sponsored by: The Salters’ Institute; Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI); Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE); The Royal Society and The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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