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School kids become forensic scientists at chemistry festival

11 May 2017

School children conducting experiment in lab coats

A group of high-school students from Cardiff and the surrounding area have been tackling real-life scientific problems at an annual chemistry festival held at Cardiff University.

The students stepped into the shoes of forensic scientists as they used their analytical chemistry skills to find the prime suspect in a mock crime. The students also took part in a “University Challenge” in which they were tasked with developing a “rainbow indicator” to test the acidity and alkalinity of various solutions.

A prize-giving ceremony held at the end of the day rewarded students with individual prizes and certificates, with the winning teams awarded prizes for their schools.

Around 50 students from 12 schools across South Wales took part in the Festival.

The Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry, which has been running for over 15 years, is an initiative of the Salters’ Institute, a not-for-profit organisation whose main objective is to help promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst younger generations.

The Cardiff University festival is one of a series of 51 Festivals which are taking place at Universities and Colleges throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2017. The festival is run in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The festival is one of a number of outreach events organised by Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry that aim to promote the field of chemistry to younger generations and encourage them to consider a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

Dr Simon Pope, from the School of Chemistry, runs the Festival on behalf of Cardiff University. He said: “It’s fantastic to once again hold the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry here at Cardiff University...”

Dr Simon Pope

“It’s really important that we try to engage with our scientists of the future, and this festival does a great job of making chemistry interesting, accessible and, most of all, fun.”

Professor Simon Pope, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Director of PGR

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