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EISF Drop-In: Computer-Powered Chemistry

Public Engagement Development Scholars Ellie Tanaka and Nikola Zotev recently ran a drop-in session at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Here they tell us about how the event went.

This year our fantastic team of postgraduate students and staff welcomed more than 2000 visitors to our drop-in activity at the National Museum of Scotland over the course of five days. Our aim was to help the public to discover the synergy between abstract thinking and experimental work and show how computers are helping chemists in many aspects of our research nowadays. 

St Ninian's School Visit

Last week our Public Engagement Scholars Kelly, Dom and Emily visited St Ninian’s RC Primary School as part of the school’s STEM Week. Here, Emily tells us more about the day.

The children were enjoying a packed day of activities including making slime, programming robots and a K’Nex challenge, so we hoped our new playdough workshop was going to fit in well! We visited six classes from P1-P5, running half hour workshops for the younger ones, and hour-long sessions with the older groups.

Liberton Primary School Visit

Dr Caroline Kirk, and PhD students Rebecca Rae and Fiona Maciver-Jones spent an afternoon at Liberton Primary School with the Primary 5 classes “Growing Crystals”. The children were hands-on in this session; carrying out experiments to grow crystals of salt and sugar as well as using a microscopy to watch crystals form from saturated solutions.

Great fun was had by all!

Make it Glow

The Solar Spark team from the School of Chemistry (Victoria Porley, Sergio Adan, Nikola Zotev, Ellie Tanaka) delivered the Make it Glow! workshop at Dalkeith Library and Lasswade Library as part of the Midlothian Science Festival.

A group of 8 to 12-year-olds enjoyed making their own artistically beautiful sunlight traps (luminescent solar concentrators), learned about the wonders of light and solar energy through a mini-lecture, and explored the glowing effects of their sunlight traps using different light sources.

Meadows Festival

A small team of dedicated public engagement scholars and PhD volunteers spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in the local park as a part of the hugely popular Meadows Festival on the 3rd of June. Under the university banner, our team had the chance to share their love for chemistry with visitors from all ages.