Students use chemistry to solve crime

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The University of Bedfordshire saw 48 students from 12 local schools enjoy a day of chemistry on Wednesday (18 May).

The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry was held in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry and allowed 12 teams of four 11-13 year olds take part in a range of activities.

First up in the days events was ‘The Salters’ Challenge’ titled ‘Murder comes to Salterstown’ which required the children to use their analytical chemistry skills to solve a fictional murder.

The afternoon followed in a similar vein with the students returning to the Department of Life Sciences’ labs to be put through their paces in another experiment, this time related to helping the USS Enterprise.

Over the course of the day, the students learnt not only about chemical reagents and health and safety in lab environments, but also how to work as a team.

Students in action 

Organised by Dr Bushra Ahmed a Principal Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University the festival is currently in its 11th year and is part of a series of 49 festivals hosted by various universities and colleges around the UK.

Talking about the event, Dr Ahmed commented: ““The best thing about the event is that all the children were very much passionate and enthusiastic about the activities they performed.

“Every single student wanted to win the first prize and they really worked hard for that. It was a great experience for them and success for us.”

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.

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