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Cwmclydach Primary pupils become scientists for the day

6 April 2017

Schoolgirl in lab gear

Pupils from Cwmclydach Primary School in Rhondda Cynon Taf had the opportunity to conduct ‘real-life’ scientific experiments as part of a chemistry workshop held at the school.

The hands-on learning experience, organised by the University in partnership with First Campus, saw the pupils don goggles and aprons to undertake practical experiments giving them a taste of what chemistry involves.

As part of the session, the children tested the acidity of a range of household goods, from vinegar to shampoo, to discover the basic chemistry behind everyday items, before reporting their results to the class. By conducting straightforward but engaging experiments, the pupils were able to brake-down myths about science and understand that chemistry is in action all around us - from the cleaning products we use to the food we eat.

Schoolboys conducting chemical experiment

The workshop concluded with an opportunity for the children to pitch questions to the workshop’s leaders about any aspect of chemistry, helping to foster imagination and curiosity about what is scientifically possible.

'Spark interest and curiosity'

The session was led by researchers and undergraduate students from the University’s School of Chemistry. Cardiff runs a programme of activities in schools across south Wales to encourage young people to get involved in science, and to inspire the next generation of chemists, doctors and engineers.

Liam Thomas from Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry, who led the workshop, said:“Children can often see chemistry is something that’s complicated, or almost like another language. We’re all familiar with chemistry stereotypes such as bubbling test tubes and long mathematical equations. Today’s session is about helping young people to understand that science doesn’t have to be difficult, that it can be fun, and that - most importantly - anyone can be a scientist.”

Schoolgirls conducting chemical experiment

Professor Amanda Coffey, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience and Academic Standards, said: “Cardiff University offers a huge range of activities aimed at raising aspirations and inspiring young people to begin a journey towards higher education...”

“Today’s workshop is just one example of how our researchers work with schools and colleges across Wales to spark interest and curiosity.”

Kayley Phillips, Year 5 Teacher at Cwmclydach Primary School, added:“Initiatives like today’s session led by Cardiff University really help to bring chemistry to life. The chemistry workshop was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to get stuck in to exciting, hands-on activities that demonstrate how science plays an important part in everyday life.”

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