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Crystal Chemistry & Chocolate Alchemy

April brings round one of our favourite Edinburgh festivals, the International Science Festival, and the School of Chemistry were there with hands-on activities and a workshop to celebrate the International Year of Crystallography. We had a busy few days making crystals, understanding how crystals form, looking at the molecular structure of crystals and considering the importance of studying crystals in chemistry.

School of Chemistry @ Dunbar SciFest

This weekend a group of undergraduates, postgraduates and staff from the School of Chemistry went on an expedition to Dunbar to take part in their Science Festival. We were celebrating the International Year of Crystallography and had a great time showing the kids crystals they can find in their kitchens using microscopes. We explained how crystals form and why understanding their structure is important to chemists. It was a fun weekend for all involved and we hope to have inspired some budding chemists!

Chemistry of a Cupcake

During the National Science and Engineering Week, students and staff from the School of Chemistry helped out in a community event held at the North Edinburgh Arts Centre which highlighted the chemical reactions which transform cake ingredients into sponge. Through a series of ???hands-on??? work stations attendees were able to learn about acids and bases, the miscibility of fluids, protein denaturation and non-newtonian fluids. At the end, participants were given the opportunity to decorate their own cupcake.

The Solar Spark @ the BIG BANG FAIR

The Solar Spark saw a record-breaking 75,000 visitors attend the Big Bang Fair Birmingham on 15-16th March. More than 100 children and parents had a go on the bike generator to see how much pedal power is required to run various domestic appliances, illustrating just how much energy we all use each day. During the two day drop-in session, everyone had a chance to play with fruit batteries and all kinds of solar toys, as well as find out more about the science behind making solar cells (light absorption, energy conversion and electricity) from the friendly volunteers.

Alchemy and Mary, Queen of Scots at Museum Lates

He managed to bring chemistry to the Museum Lates crowd by linking the history of alchemy and chemistry with present day research and current challenges. Lots of excellent demonstrations, bangs and explosions kept everyone on the edge of their seat and he even made beer appear magically before our eyes.

Georg will be giving a Chemistry Christmas Lecture at the George Square Theatre on the 10th of December. All welcome.

Here are a few photos from the night: