Salter’s Chemistry Festival

Last Friday morning four Year 8 students met me in reception at 0640 to travel to Bristol for the Salters’ Festival.  The team was made of four students: Ethan, Hannah, Lucy and George.

Our journey to Bristol was smooth and we arrived in time to look around some of the university buildings, getting an idea about how the undergraduates access different facilities.   Coombe Dean Team was one of fourteen participating schools from all over the South West.

After an introductory talk about the importance of all health and safety matters, the scene was set for the activities and raised excitement before the teams went to one of the undergraduate teaching laboratories, which have £3.5million of equipment in them!

Teachers were allowed to stay for just a short time to see their teams start on the first challenge, the task of solving a crime mystery. Chromatography and precipitation reactions were used, amongst other tests, to solve the puzzle. After a quick lunch break, there was a second competition- the University of Bristol chemistry challenge, which was to make a reaction happen in a precise time.

The afternoon then continued with a very impressive demonstration by the university’s Mr Tim Harrison of some spectacular reactions . We all enjoyed these immensely.

The team members received certificates and goodies for themselves. Every member of the team performed to an extremely high standard and represented the school brilliantly. Most importantly, the participants enjoyed an excellent experience, and gained some insight in to what it is like to study at one of the country’s top universities.

Well done, too, to the teachers in the Science Department-clearly they are equipping the students with excellent skills.

A Cox

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