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Inspire your students with our school outreach activities

We offer fun, hands-on educational chemistry activities. Learn how your school science students can benefit from our outreach programme.

Join us at our state-of-the-art research laboratories

We run workshops in our laboratories aimed at secondary school students. They will benefit from practical sessions that teach scientific principles and methods.

The activities we offer are a great way to put the science you teach into context. All of our outreach workshops are offered free of charge.

Your students will enjoy hands-on exercises in groups using our laboratories and equipment.

Our workshops cover subjects relevant to the science curriculum.

Spectroscopy workshops

Students are split into small groups and taken on a tour of the three areas of spectroscopy relevant to the post-16 curriculum. They visit the instruments and are given 20-minute talks by experienced staff in the fields of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry and infrared (IR) spectrometry.

Groups have the opportunity to run their own samples of compounds they have prepared in school. The principles of spectroscopy are reinforced by a 30-minute problem-solving workshop following the tours where students deduce the structure of some unknown compounds using spectroscopic data.

The following dates are still available to book for the academic year 2022/23:

  • 3rd May 2023
  • 7th June 2023

Workshops tend to start between 1:00pm and 1:30pm, and usually last about 2 hours.

Synthesis and spectroscopy

Students complete a practical synthesis or separation using the university laboratories and equipment. Students then analyse their synthesised compounds using Thin-layer chromatography (TLC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry and infrared (IR) spectrometry to deduce what they have made and check purity.

This gives them the opportunity to experience new techniques which will not be available to them at school and allows them to perceive subjects from the post-16 syllabus in context.

Chemistry and crime workshops

This activity is suitable for students from year nine and above.

Your students will learn about forensic science and its connection to chemistry and analytical skills. They will solve a murder mystery using techniques like fingerprinting, flame tests and infrared spectroscopy.

DIY green energy workshops

This activity is suitable for students from year nine and above.

We introduce students to energy and environmental issues faced by society, and the part science plays in tackling them.

We challenge students to make and test their own solar cells and biofuels using everyday materials.

To book a workshop for your pupils please contact

Invite our student ambassadors to your school

Our student ambassadors offer hands-on chemistry activities or talk about what it is like to study chemistry at university.

Spectroscopy in a suitcase

This activity is suitable for students from year 10 and above.

The department is part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Spectroscopy in a Suitcase scheme which provides portable nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy instruments to be taken into schools.

Trained postgraduate ambassadors can visit the school to deliver activities or the equipment can be loaned to schools for trained teachers to use in their lessons. Students get hands-on experience of using the equipment in their own classrooms.

School talks

This activity is suitable for students from year seven and above.

Staff or postgraduate students can visit your school to give a talk about studying chemistry at university, careers in chemistry or aspects of cutting edge research.

Host an undergraduate student for a term

Our students can do a project in the third year of their degree where they work with teachers in local schools.

From October to May they can provide teaching and practical assistance whilst developing a special project in the school.


For more information, please contact Dr Gan Shermer