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School of Chemistry at STEM Live!

11 July 2016

Chemistry workshop at STEM Live
Chemistry workshop at STEM Live

Over 200 high-school children from across South Wales have descended on the University to take part in a day of exciting and immersive practical activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

From the science behind 3D cinema to using catalysis for a better world, the STEM Live! event showcased the diverse research being undertaken at the University and introduced students to the broad range of opportunities that come with a career in the STEM subjects.

The event was organised by the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering and the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, in partnership with St David’s Catholic Sixth Form College, and was rolled out to sixth form students from 12 schools across South Wales.

The School of Chemistry participated with workshops on chemiluminescence, where pupils carried out experiments on the light-emitting properties of certain molecules, and chemistry in 3D, where they were able to immerse themselves in the three dimensional atomic scale world of molecules and solids. In addition to these workshops, the School and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute offered a range of other pop-up educational activities at the event.

STEM Live! has been designed to give students a fresh perspective by taking them out of the classroom and into an environment where they can immerse themselves in the world of science.

Dr Fiona Wyllie, the lead organiser of the event, said: “We wanted to expose sixth formers to the full breadth of STEM courses and research on offer in the university, including subjects unfamiliar to them through their school curriculum.”

Mr Hughes, Assistant Head of Sixth form at St Joseph’s RC High School, described the event as a ‘unique opportunity’ for students to gain an insight into a wide range of STEM subjects, and commented that some had even been prompted to reconsider the STEM subject they will apply to study next year.

He went on to say: “Our students have been inspired and enthused by both the researchers’ and undergraduate students’ obvious passion for their subjects, and I feel that they are now in a much better position to make an informed decision about their future careers in STEM.”

This is the third STEM Live! event organised by the University and is one of a number of initiatives run as part of the University’s School’s Partnership Project, which supports researchers’ direct engagement with students and helps bring contemporary and inspirational research contexts into formal and informal learning. The Partnership Project is funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK) as part of their School-University Partnerships Initiative.

For more information on our programme of outreach and engagement activities, please visit our website.