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Dyeing to get into Science

A Chemistry project to get more young people interested in Science has been rolled out to schools across Leicestershire and the South West of England.

Twenty-six schools across the South West and nine in Leicestershire volunteered to take part in the project, which was run by the Universities of Loughborough and Bristol, and aimed at GCSE and A level students. Chemistry kits were sent to each school, giving students first hand, practical experience of a scientific, research project

By experimenting with different dyes – from sources such as strawberries, cherries and teabags – students were asked to find which produced the strongest electrical current, when combined with solar cells.

Miss Dimple Patel, Research Assistant at Loughborough University, who ran the project, said: “This work is really, really important. When I was at school, I never had the chance to see that Chemistry was fun. It is not just people in white coats in a lab doing the same experiments, day after day.

“This project gave students the chance to see that there is a lot more to Science and, hopefully, to consider it as a subject option and even a career choice. It has been very successful.”

As well as supplying Chemistry kits, Loughborough University also ran a range of other outreach activities, including workshops, summer schools, and open days.

A manual and CD were prepared for teachers, who could also access information about the project on the University website.

The project was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Patel Dimple | alfa
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