Salters’ Festival of Chemistry at the University of Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Apr 07, 2016 10:24 AM |
The annual science festival in partnership with The Royal Society of Chemistry returns to Leicester on Tuesday 12 April

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 April 2016

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:  10:30AM on Thursday 12 April 2016 at the University of Leicester in the Undergraduate teaching labs (1.06) and at 14:30PM in the Lecture Theatre A, both in the George Porter Building. To arrange contact Dr Barbara Villa Marcos on

64 students from 16 schools in the local area will enjoy an exciting day of chemistry at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry to be held at the University of Leicester on Tuesday 12 April.

Each school will be represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds.

During the morning the teams will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity, “The Salters’ Challenge” – “Murder comes to Salterstown” in which they will use their analytical chemistry skills. 

In the afternoon, they will compete in the “University Challenge”, a practical activity chosen by the University, in which they will be required to solve a “mess” in the teaching labs where several unlabelled samples have been found. This will be followed by a fun lecture by Dr Richard Blackburn who will take the students on a chemical tour of the elements with many bangs, flashes and colours along the way.

The day will end with a Prizegiving at which all participants will be given individual fun prizes and participation certificates and the winning teams will be awarded prizes for their schools.

Dr Barbara Villa Marcos from the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry said: “We are very proud of hosting the Salters’ Festival at Leicester every year; this event is a fabulous opportunity for students to immerse themselves in activities in a university setting and provides a platform to encourage pupils to consider a career in chemistry.”

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

The Festival at The University of Leicester is one of a series of 49 Festivals which are taking place at Universities and Colleges throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2016.

The Institute is delighted to once again be working in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact:

Dr Barbara Villa Marcos                                            

The University of Leicester           


Miss Laura Seamons

Programme Co-ordinator

The Salters' Institute



Editors Notes:

1.     The Festivals are one-day events for schools held at Universities and Colleges throughout the UK and Ireland.  The first series of Festivals was held in 1991.  Festivals were then held in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.  Since 2000 Festivals have been held every year.  In 2016 there will be a series of 49 Festivals being hosted by 39 Universities and Colleges between March and June.  The aim of the Festivals is to make chemistry more exciting, more relevant and fun to students aged 11 to 13 years and to encourage schools to set up their own chemistry clubs.

2.     Competing schools are represented by a team of four students from years 7 or 8 (or equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Prizes for the winning schools are awarded at each Festival and all participants receive fun prizes and certificates.   During the last sixteen years, over 46,000 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry.

3.     Since 1991 sponsorship support of the Festivals has been raised from over one hundred companies. Many of the Festivals are also sponsored by local companies. 

4.     The Salters’ Company is one of the Great Twelve City of London Livery Companies and was founded in 1394 for the medieval trade in salt.  The Company’s activities today are centred on charitable and educational giving.  The Salters' Institute, established in 1918, is the Flagship Charity of the Salters' Company and aims to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

5.     The Institute’s main activities are the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry, in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry, for 11 to 13 year olds and Curriculum Development, undertaken at The University of York, which includes the GCSE course Twenty First Century Science, Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology, Salters Advanced Chemistry, Salters Horners Advanced Physics and York Science for KS3.

6.     Other Institute activities include: Salters' Chemistry Camps in India for 15 year olds, also in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry; Salters’ Graduate Prizes, Salters' National Awards for Science Technicians in collaboration with CLEAPSS and SSERC; Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology Prizes, Salters Advanced Chemistry Prizes, Salters Horners Advanced Physics Prizes, Salters’ City and Guilds Prizes, and annual events including a Seminar on a current hot topic in Science Education, and culminating with the Salters’ Awards Ceremony which is held towards the end of each year at Salters’ Hall.


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