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UCLan chemistry day inspires youngsters

06 December 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Event sparks interest in science

Photo- L to R: Dr Claire Stone, Dr David Waring, Dr Michael Waring and Dr Rob Smith

Over 200 schoolchildren from the North of England have visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston to discover the many opportunities a career in chemistry can bring.

The Chemistry Enhancement Day, in conjunction with Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) (Lancaster and District Section), invited two prestigious speakers to share their expertise with the A-Level pupils and show how their work is applicable in everyday life.

Dr Mike Waring, a principal scientist at AstraZeneca, spoke about how chemistry in pharmaceutical research saves lives. He was joined by Dr Claire Stone from I2 Analytical who discussed analytical chemistry and the environment.

The schools were also given a tour of UCLan’s science laboratories, including the JB Firth Building which was built in 2011 and houses six state-of-the-art laboratories.

Jan Costello, a teacher from Priestley College in Warrington, commented: “Our students found the Chemistry Enhancement Day invaluable. Year 12 pupils were able to see the wider context of chemistry and its many applications which increased their enthusiasm for the subject while our Year 13 students really enjoyed the thought provoking lectures which led to fantastic discussions on the way home. They were also really impressed with UCLan’s excellent laboratory facilities.”

“We’ve had some great feedback from both pupils and teachers who have said the event enriched the students’ understanding of both chemistry and biochemistry.”

RSC Lancaster and District Section committee member Dr David Waring who also attended the day said: “the event, clearly proved a significant success in promoting the value of chemistry as a future career”.

UCLan Senior Lecturer in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry and Chairperson of the Lancaster and District Section of the RSC Dr Rob Smith commented: “We want to inspire young people and show them the many chemistry related career options available to them. We’ve had some great feedback from both pupils and teachers who have said the event enriched the students’ understanding of both chemistry and biochemistry.”

Chemistry is at the forefront of undergraduate research at UCLan. Students have presented their work at international conferences and some have seen their research published in prestigious European journals.