Bournemouth & Poole College’s Lansdowne site became a hub for up-and-coming scientists recently as it welcomed pupils from local schools for the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry.
The Festivals, held in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry, are a series of one-day events held at colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland. Their objective is to help promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst young students by offering fun practical activities in a scientific environment.
Teams of pupils from five local schools attended the event at the College. They included:
As part of the day, students took part in a series of science challenges. In the morning the students were given the chance to become forensic scientists and helped to solve a crime by carrying out chemical tests on clues. In the afternoon they became research scientists investigating insect stings and looking for a new treatment.
The chairman of judges, Mr David Edwards was highly impressed by the keen application, teamwork and scientific skills demonstrated by the pupils. Mr Edwards said: “The students exhibited many attributes that would enable them to become future scientists.”
At the end of the day, students were asked to provide feedback on their experience. Students emphasised how much they had enjoyed the event, with comments including; "I liked the freedom we had with science", and "The experiments were really challenging but still very fun". Some students just couldn't decide what they had enjoyed most; "we enjoyed all the practical demonstrations, the experience and working so well as a team together. It was amazing!"
Chemist and organiser of the event Dr Jasmina Buron, was extremely pleased with the success of the day and the enthusiasm with which students took to their tasks: “The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry is a great way for students to gain confidence in science and have some fun. It was a privilege to see so many students eagerly engaged, working together and developing such valuable life skills.”
Congratulations to the winners of the Salters’ challenge, the team from Poole High School.