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Science workshops Faculty of Engineering & Science

Outreach activities at the University of Greenwich

We have a number of workshops to help with enhancing the curriculum to your pupils, from topics in biology, chemistry, and sports science. Our faculty has an extensive range of specialist laboratories for you and your pupils to visit and utilise for the purpose of raising their aspirations.

For topics relating to chemistry, the Kent Local Section of the Royal Society of Chemistry has funded several workshops to be delivered throughout Kent by Dr Samantha Booth whose position within the University of Greenwich is to promote Chemistry in local schools and colleges. The most successful session in this range is an A-Level enhancing Analytical Chemistry workshop where students are given the opportunity to participate in a hands-on demonstration of infra-red spectroscopy, mass-spectrometry, chromatography and NMR techniques.

We have developed workshops that extend the national curriculum for students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13, as well as specifically assisting schools and colleges in the Extended Project or Extended Essay. The majority of these workshops are portable, which also allows the faculty to deliver them at school premises if required.

We have the facilities to run all of these workshops in one day. However, if you are interested in a particular technique, it is possible to focus on one workshop to fit in with what your students are currently studying.

Where possible, we can provide these workshops on a date and time to suit you, so, if you are interested in any of these techniques, please contact Lynn Wilson (L.Wilson@gre.ac.uk) with the subject title "Request for Study Workshop (name of workshop)".

Unravelling DNA: from the Virtual to Reality

Submerge your students in a virtual reality test-tube to watch polymerase chain reaction (PCR) happen in front of their very eyes! Following this, under guided tuition in our state-of-the-art laboratories, allow your students to perform PCR themselves on their own DNA samples, and let them see their DNA 'glow' using gel electrophoresis and our UV visualiser.

Can't make it to us? No problem! Our outreach programme is fully portable and can come to your school laboratory.

Designed for students aged 14+.

A Biology outreach initiative by the University of Greenwich kindly funded by the Royal Society of Biology and Biochemical Society.

Electrophoresis

Students will learn polymerase chain reaction - a key biochemical technique that can be used to create an individual genetic fingerprint.

Pharmacy

Giving students practical experience of making ointments and dispensing mock drugs, this workshop offers them an insight into the life of a pharmacist

UV-Vis Spectrophotometry

In this chemistry workshop students are taught how to measure the amount of light absorbed by metal complexes in a solution. Students will then be shown how to determine the concentration of an unknown solution using this fascinating technique. This workshop is only available on campus.

Aspirin Assay

Students will have the opportunity to synthesise aspirin, the common pain reliever. The purity of the product will then be analysed by melting point, pH and IR spectroscopy.

Saponification – The Science of Soap Making

This workshop gives a brief overview of the chemistry behind soap making (saponification) and the mechanism by which soaps remove dirt and grease. Students will also have the chance to prepare their own soap samples from vegetable fats.

Glow Sticks

A very useful light source that does not give out heat, glow sticks produce what is called 'cold light'. In this practical workshop, students will explore the chemistry involved in making luminescent glow sticks and produce their own. They will also investigate how glow sticks emit such strong light without a bulb or a battery.

Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

Spectroscopy in a Suitcase is an outreach scheme funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and gives school students the opportunity to learn about infrared and mass spectrometry through hands-on experience. The workshops cover the principles of spectroscopic techniques and real-life applications.

The free sessions are delivered by university staff and students, so have a strong emphasis on encouraging school pupils to study chemistry and consider the career opportunities available. We can run one or more sessions in a day at your school, or loan the equipment out on a short-term basis.

For more information and to book, visit the RSC's website: http://www.rsc.org/sias

Analytical Taster Days

Analytical Taster Days give year 13 students the opportunity to visit our analytical laboratories on campus, participating in workshops in:

  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Gas chromatography

Students will be given an introduction to each technique, after which they will run samples on the instrument and learn how to interpret the results to identify unknown compounds. If students have made aspirin or a similar organic compound at school, this can be analysed in our labs.