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Visit To Cambridge University For Chemistry Festival

A day of science challenges at Cambridge University encouraged a group of students to think about chemistry as a future career choice.

The Year 8 students - Jessica Sawford, Matthew Hanna, Kit Panther and Danni Calvert - attended the Salters Institute chemistry festival last week, along with students from 20 other schools.

They were set two challenges - first to observe the reactions of compounds and match them with unknown samples. The second required them to determine the amount of iron in an iron tablet. 

Teams were also judged on the orderly way they approached the task, neat and safe working and on the presentation of results.

Later in the day students were given a dramatic demonstration of the reactivity of alkali metals, some of which schools are not able to store and use due to the availability of specialised equipment.

The aim of the Salters Institute is to encourage young people to pursue careers in the chemical industries and to promote the teaching of chemistry.

Science Teacher Sharon Bialacki said: "When evaluating the day the students said the day had been enjoyable, especially the lecture.

"They were disappointed not to be amongst the six prize winners but hopefully their awareness of the opportunities available to them and the level of competition for those activities has been raised."

The Salters Institute also offers three-day residential courses for Year 10 students at a subsidised cost of £90.

Should any Year 10 students wish to try for one of the cancellation places speak to Mrs Bialacki.