The exciting half day workshop aimed to develop scientific skills in students aged 9–11 whilst inspiring the next generation of chemists. This project was only made possible through a grant received from the Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund.
During the workshop, students worked together to discover the periodic table and investigate the properties of particular elements within it. Students also had the opportunity to carry out a scientific experiment into the reactivity series, thus building their confidence in using scientific equipment. Whilst the periodic table is not specifically taught within Key Stage 2, students are taught about the properties of everyday materials and so this workshop aimed to encompass all of the ideas that they had learned within this topic, whilst pushing the boundaries of their understanding at the same time.
Through participating in the workshop, students were also eligible to receive a CREST Award, a scheme that inspires young people to take on the role of scientists or engineers through hands on investigations.
The workshops took place in five primary schools in the Forest of Dean during the summer term. Students who had demonstrated a keen interest in chemistry were invited to attend a morning of activities and a tour at BASF, Cinderford on 4 July.
During the BASF visit, students were able to see the periodic table in action. They were taken on a tour of the production area which recycles catalytic convertors and where some of the rarest elements on earth are reclaimed. Following the tour, students took part in the BASF Science Xperience, which included making slime and a sound proofing activity. This visit was enjoyed by all.
We are extremely grateful to the Outreach Fund. The grant provided us with the opportunity to expand our repertoire and promote an area of STEM that was not represented in our available workshops. As a not for profit organisation, we rely on this kind of external funding to enable us to develop new projects, increase our support for schools and develop vital links with local businesses. We would also like to thank BASF, Cinderford for hosting the visit and hope to work with them again in the future to provide more opportunities for students to experience STEM in action.
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