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LSBU to host Salters' Festival of Chemistry

LSBU to host exciting and fun-filled day of chemistry for 64 enthusiastic students from schools in the local area, so they can investigate like a 'real Chemist’
13 May 2016

During the last 16 years more than 44,000 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters' Festivals. The festival, to be held at London South Bank University (LSBU) on Thursday 19 May 2016, is one of a series of 49 festivals which are taking place at universities and colleges throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, between March and June 2016.

Each of the 16 schools taking part will be represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds, who will take part in a number of competitive and hands-on activities, including:

  • The Salters’ Challenge – a challenge called ‘Murder comes to Salterstown’, in which students will use their analytical chemistry skills. 
  • The University Challenge - a practical activity set by LSBU called ‘Sulphur Clock’, where students will be required to investigate the reaction of chemicals when they are mixed together.
  • A Chemical Magic Show featuring lots of ‘pops’ and ‘bangs’ will also take place.

The festival aims to promote an appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young, and gives the pupils an opportunity to gain hands-on practical chemistry challenges in university labs.

The festival also encourages team work and independent problem solving, and provides enthusiastic young students an opportunity to spend a day in a university department and to take part in practical chemistry activities.

Dr Anne-Maria Brennan, Associate Professor of Applied Sciences, said: “Chemistry is key to understanding the world we live in. This makes it particularly important for anyone who wishes to study science at university. Recent scientific breakthroughs, such as nanotechnology, mean it has never been a better time to study chemistry.

“A knowledge of biochemistry, the chemistry of life, is vital for biologists and medical scientists. Similarly, chemistry underpins forensic science in the form of DNA, drug, paint, ink and explosives analysis. Even astrophysicists need chemistry to explain the origins and development of the universe.

“Meanwhile, back on planet Earth chemistry is a key part of the air we breathe, the food we eat and drink, the clothes we wear and the fuel that powers our lives. Chemistry is all around us!”

The action-packed day will end with an awards ceremony in which fun prizes and certificates will be given to all participating pupils, along with awards for their schools culminating in the prestigious Salters’ Challenge and University Challenge prizes.

These will be presented by Professor Pat Bailey, LSBU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor who says: “I am always delighted to award prizes to young people who are so enthusiastic about chemistry. They have my congratulations and best wishes for a successful future in their scientific careers.”

Find out more about the School of Applied Sciences.