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University aims to ‘trigger a passion in science’ among pupils

7 May 2015

2 students in Chemistry lab with

Triggering a passion for science is the aim as Cardiff University welcomes 40 students from 10 South Wales schools as part of a touring festival of chemistry.

Teams of 11 to 13-year-olds from each school are taking part in a series of hands-on activities at the School of Chemistry on Thursday, 14 May.

The Salters' Festival of Chemistry, which tours universities and colleges around the UK and Ireland, has been running since 1991.

The aim is to make chemistry more exciting, relevant and fun to young people, and to encourage schools to set up their own chemistry clubs.

Dr Simon Pope, from the School of Chemistry, said: "The festival is a unique and exciting opportunity for 11 to 13-years-olds to experience practical chemistry in a state-of-the-art laboratory setting.

"We always hope that it can trigger an interest and passion in science that stays with them throughout their education and beyond."

During the morning the teams will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity using their analytical chemistry skills. 

In the afternoon, they will compete to develop a new range of paints using Universal Dyeing solution and different pH conditions. The team that creates the best range of colours will be declared the winner.

This will be followed by a fun interactive science quiz hosted by Dr Dayna Mason, Royal Society of Chemistry Regional Co-ordinator for Wales.

The Salters' Festivals of Chemistry are an initiative of The Salters' Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among young people, and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

Dr Pope added: "Cardiff University's School of Chemistry is extremely proud to host one of the annual Salters' Chemistry Festivals.

"Our relationship with the Salters' Institute goes back more than a decade and we have welcomed a large numbers of schools, students and teachers from across the South Wales region into our department in that time."