International Year of Chemistry goes off with a bang at Glamorgan

December 15, 2011

Making ice-cream using liquid nitrogen and finding out how glow sticks work were just two of the experiments conducted by school pupils at the Christmas Flash Bang Chemistry Show at the University of Glamorgan this week.

Over 200 students from 11 schools and colleges visited the University’s Glyntaff Campus for the show led by the nationally-renowned Chemist, Dr Robyn Wheldon-Williams and held in conjunction with the Royal Society of Chemistry as part of Glamorgan’s Celebration of the International Year of Chemistry.

The event was organised by the University’s Student Recruitment and Events Team and the Division of Chemistry and Forensic Science with the purpose of encouraging students to view Chemistry in a wider context and inspire students to study Chemistry at university and was aimed at Year 12 and 13 students studying Chemistry at AS and A-level.

Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer Sera Evans-Fear said, “The Faculty of Health, Sport and Science at Glamorgan is increasingly aware of the need to work closely with schools and colleges by developing links with teachers and advisors and supporting students with their Higher Education research and increasing their awareness of the benefits of Higher Education.”

Innovative visual demonstrations spanning the breadth of Chemistry were delivered by Dr Wheldon-Williams who is an associate of Bangor University and Science Director for the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

Robyn’s famous shows have been presented to 35,000 young people, and his experiments, most notably his Guinness World Record bubble, was featured on the Richard & Judy TV programme and on CBBC’s Blast Lab.
Over the past few years, Robyn has developed and presented experiments on S4C’s Science show, ATOM, and he was recently nominated for a BAFTA Wales award.

Sera Evans-Fear continued, “The Christmas Flash Bang Chemistry Show amazed students with spectacular science demonstrations and featured loud explosions and fireworks. Students were able to create bubble bombs and view how music can manipulate chemical reactions.”

One student commented, “It was an excellent event – Robyn was funny and told some interesting stories as part of the event. Best of all, it showed Chemistry as it should be – exciting and inspiring – I loved every minute.”

One teacher echoed the students’ enjoyment, “All of us really enjoyed the event and the way that Chemistry was promoted to the students. The facilities were excellent too. It was all-round fantastic event. Well done and thank you.”

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