We welcomed a new demonstrator, Corrine Kay, a Research Chemist whose Teacher Training College kindly gave permission for her to attend as the experience of working with the students was very relevant to her course.

Once again the day went well, though the before the start there were some quick changes needed due to some demonstrators reporting in sick and being unable to attend! This meant the usual “Demonstrator Break” which I organise was lost and everyone kept going to the end. Also, I delivered one of the demonstrations myself which, as usual, was an enjoyable experience. The students were very interested and some surprised me with their knowledge of science. I prefer to be free to oversee the running of the event I have organised but it is a tribute to the demonstrators that all ran smoothly. My thanks go also to the Science Staff who are always very supportive.

The school are asking to host the event again in 2018.

Derek Jones

Once again the Chemistry at Work event was will received by AGS Year 8 boys and the staff and the demonstrators were very impressed by the boys’ level of interest and the standard of their questions.

Brian Halvorsen, who is a dentist, demonstrated the changing electrical potential in the mouth as we try different drinks and explained its importance in the chemistry of the mouth.

Jim Stevens, who is a chartered engineer, explained the chemical causes of potholes in roads and how he had to represented the local town council at government level over the effects of the massive construction traffic expected for building the local section of the HS2 railway line.

Tom Cracknell, Regulation Coordinator at Didcot Power Station, demonstrated, with the aid of a small steam engine, how electricity is generated and then give  students a chance to feel the different loading forces on the grid created the different types of lights from standard filament bults to leds.

Plus many other demonstrations.

It was a great day once again.

Derek Jones, Event Organiser.

The first Chemistry at Work event of 2017, hosted by St Michael’s Catholic School in High Wycombe, was once again a great success and we welcomed a new demonstrator – David Ab Irwerth, a new demonstrator, came from Environmental Health and showed the students how chemistry is important in many areas of Local Council responsibility, including contaminated land and gave local examples. David is keen to take part again. It was also good to see some of our more recently joined demonstrators honing their skills in engaging the students.

The RSC have also begun addressing the scheme’s recent funding issues and with a more flexible approach to their support which bodes well nationally for the future of Chemistry at Work.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in taking part in these uplifting events. Please contact me

Derek Jones, Event Organiser.



My grateful thanks to all of you who came and put on your fascinating demonstrations in 2016 and to the schools for bringing your students, or hosting the event, as well as the students whose degree of participation has steadily increased over the years as the demonstrations have become more engaging.

My particular thanks to the STEM ambassadors whose support has been a great help. Any demonstrators wishing to become STEM AMBASSADORS please let me know.

2016 saw the first indications that, due to the high number of these events in my area and increased national demand, the Royal Society of Chemistry would have to cap our funding. Sadly I therefore had to turn away two schools keen to host a day.

These events are planned a year ahead and in 2017 so far I have avoided cancellations by spreading the RSC funding, approved to date, to cover all the events up to July 2017 and asking schools for a larger contribution.

I have already been contacted by one of last year’s rejected schools still hoping to host the event and if my request for additional alternative funding succeeds, I shall be able to help them and take on more STEM Ambassadors and professional demonstrators who’s cost has been paid until now by the schools’ contribution.

Any schools in Buck, Beds, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire or West London interested in hosting a Chemistry at Work event please contact me.

I look forward hopefully to working with more schools and employers in 2017.

Derek Jones
Events Organiser