The hope of this project was to increase the students' enjoyment of chemistry, inspire them to take the triple science GCSE option, and give University of Birmingham chemistry students the opportunity to develop their science communication skills.
Turves Green Boys School was chosen because the students are predominantly from a white working-class background, a highly underrepresented demographic in higher education. Furthermore, a high proportion of the pupils are from low-participation neighbourhoods and relatively few study STEM subjects to a high level. Therefore, raising the students’ aspirations by making them aware of the higher education and career options available to them is important.
The activities were designed by the ChemBAM team and aim to showcase the world of chemistry by linking areas of the school curriculum to current scientific research. At the end of each session, there was a short question-and-answer session with the volunteers, aiming to inform and excite students about university life and chemistry-related research and careers.