Chemistry camp gives a taste of campus life

Teenagers conducting an experiment

05 Jun 2015 12:27:36.647
PA 199/11

Can chemical reactions be as exciting as thunder and lightning? And what makes fireflies glow in the dark? Just some of the fascinating questions that will be explored at two Salters’ Chemistry Camps for teenagers at The University of Nottingham next week. 

One hundred Year 10 students from schools all over the UK have been chosen to take part in the 3-day back to back residential courses in which they get a taste of undergraduate life on campus at University Park, Nottingham.

The camps are designed to give the teenagers who have a budding passion for chemistry, a flavour of what it’s like to study at university. The action-packed course allows them to work in the same laboratory and use the same equipment that undergraduates are trained to use.

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Each student will be given the opportunity to tackle a variety of new activities, including investigating ‘chemiluminescence’ or ‘Cold Light’, to find out what makes fireflies glow. And they will be using their detective skills to solve a mystery about ‘fake’ pain killing drugs!

The students will also explore the same oscillating reaction that gives tigers their stripes and delve into the world of Transition Metal Chemistry, in the ‘Complex Chemistry’ task. This year the Campers also get to watch a Thunder and Lightning demonstration lecture as part of their social programme.

Two groups of fifty students will be taking part in the camps from Monday 27 June – Wednesday 29th June, and Wednesday 29th June – Friday 1 July 2011. They are accommodated in University halls of residence with a full programme of evening activities. 

Dr Samantha Tang, Public Awareness Scientist in the University’s School of Chemistry said: 

“This is the sixth year that we have run these Camps and they have proved to be immensely enjoyable events, not only from the student’s point of view but also from the perspective of the teachers, technicians, and postgraduate demonstrators who work together to make the Camps happen. The School of Chemistry has a fantastic working relationship with the Salters’ Institute and hosting the Camps and the Festival that takes place every May is a real pleasure. These events are an ideal opportunity to engage with schools from across the region and beyond.” 

The camps were established by The Salter’s Company, one of the Great Twelve City of London Livery Companies in 1998 with the aim of encouraging an awareness of and long-term interest in chemistry through hands-on practical activities, lectures and social activities. 

Media are welcome to attend by arrangement with the University’s Communications Department, details below.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall. 

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. More news from the University at:

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More information is available from Dr Samantha Tang on +44 (0)115 846 7229

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