Once again the schools filled the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and brought nearly 600 Year 6 pupils.  The predicted excitement in the Cruck Barn as they build their “canal bridges” meant I had to purchases some more screening to enable the other demonstrator there to be heard comfortably! This time we had Thames Water join us and the children learned much about water management while the proven dangers of smoking were highlighted by the Milton Keynes Respiratory Department. Many of the popular regular demonstrations attended and altogether we had demonstrations on:

Earthworms, Hair Styling Gel Formation, Fight or Flight, Going up in Smoke, How do the Police use Chemistry?, Lovely Hair- Shame about the Skin, Poisons & How They Work, Living on Less Energy, Healthy Horses, Soil & Water, Connecting up Solar Cells, Canal Bridge Building, Life of the Honey Bee, Magic of Oxygen with whiz-bangs, Practical Water Purification, We are A Lifeline (Ambulance Service).

We look forward to seeing all the schools again next year.

All demonstrations are now booked for this term’s events. In early October Whitefield School in Barnet are hosting their first “Chemistry at Work” day and at the end of October the three-day Junior “REAL SCIENCE” event in Milton Keynes has all school places booked too. However, schools still interested in attending this event please contact me in case any more space can be found.

Applications from Secondary Schools, or large Junior Schools, interested in hosting a “Chemistry at Work” day are invited for the next calendar year 2016. For information please contact me.

As ever, my grateful thanks go to the demonstrators. The students clearly enjoyed learning about the wide range of activities and potential careers with connections to Chemistry and the demonstrators were impressed with their attitude and interest. Dr Paul Myatt, Head of Science, was pleased with how their “Chemistry at Work” day went and and has already provisionally booked it again for the same time next year.

This year’s event was attended by nearly 350 students aged 12 to 16 . As usual, they came from Special, Comprehensive, Upper and Private Schools in Milton Keynes, Newport Pagnell, Buckingham, Bedford, Luton and Wing. Here is a letter I received afterwards from Dr Rae FRSCI and Head of Chemistry at Ousedale School who came to the event and sent students on all three days.

Dear Derek

I felt that I should write to you to congratulate you on your excellent “Chemistry at Work” again this year.

As usual we brought our Year 8 Gifted and Talented groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The students absolutely loved the presentations. I have had great feedback from both students and the teachers that accompanied the other two groups.

One parent said:

“I just wanted to thank you for organising the very successful Chemistry day in Milton Keynes yesterday. [Our son] had a wonderful day out and spent all evening chatting about the activities and presentations. It is so lovely to see him so engaged with his education, and really challenging his thinking about Science. It also opened up discussions about wider issues, for which he is now starting to formulate opinions.

Thank you again for arranging this opportunity and selecting [our son] to take part.”

The chatter amongst the students on the bus on the way back to School indicated to me that the day had achieved the goal of promoting Chemistry and widening their horizons.

There was a sense of excitement throughout the day and in the bus on the way home.

Thank you for your efforts. We will certainly be attending again next year.