Outreach for schools

We work closely with schools and colleges to bring the expertise of our academics to a younger audience.

As part of our commitment to encouraging students to pursue Chemistry, we run a number of outreach activities.

Our Chemistry Experience Days are designed to give A-level students an idea as to what studying Chemistry at university can offer. We run these events in December, March and June and they have proved extremely popular, with over 300 students participating each year.

We also host other activities, such as Spectroscopy in a Suitcase and Salters' Festivals, to help inspire a new generation of chemists.

Chemistry Experience Days

We show college students what it is like to study at university and highlight the career prospects that open up with a degree in Chemistry.

Through talks and laboratory work typical of an undergraduate Chemistry class, students will learn more about the preparative procedures in organic chemistry. By the end of the day, they should be able to determine the typical structural formulae of compounds that they prepared and know how to carry out simple organic chemistry operations.

They should also understand recrystallization and melting points, along with value of mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy in structure-determination.

The timetable for a typical Chemistry Experience Day is as follows:

9.45 - 10.00 am  Arrival Chichester I foyer
10.00 - 10.20 am          Introduction and Safety Talk
10.20 - 12.30 pm          Laboratory work (break 11.20)
12.30 - 1.30 pm            Lunch (opportunity to see the campus)
1.30 - 3.15 pm Groups run melting points, IR, Mass Spec & NMR
3.15 – 3.45 pm Talk on Degrees and Careers
3.45 – 4.00 pm             Departure  

Since laboratory work is involved students should bring a laboratory coat and safety glasses where possible and must be accompanied by at least one member of staff. The students will be covered by our insurance (as they are coming onto the University premises at our invitation). Attending students and teachers are requested to bring a pack lunch and refreshment or money to buy lunch and drinks on campus.

RSC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

This interactive event gives students the chance to learn more about an integral area covered in Chemistry A-level: Spectroscopy.

As well as covering the theory and principals, students will have the opportunity to run an infrared spectroscopy kit in the classroom.

The kit can be used within an activity delivered by members of our Chemistry Faculty or it can be taken out on loan for up to a week.

The hands-on activity is forensic in nature and aims to introduce students to chemical identification and structure elucidation through the analysis of the IR spectra of different samples.

For more information, visit  RSC SpectraSchool and RSC Outreach. To book the spectroscopy kit, fill out the booking form.

Salters' Festivals
We are proud to host Salters' Festivals in a bid to help promote the appreciation of Chemistry through exciting practical demonstrations. 
Students will spend a day with the Chemistry department and have the opportunity to perform classic experiments such as the Landolt Clock Reaction - a demonstration which displays chemical kinetics in action. In previous years the students have achieved an accumulative timing error of only three seconds around the clock! A testament to the accuracy to which they prepared their concentrations of potassium iodate and sodium metabisulfite solutions: 
For more information, visit the Salters' Institute












For further details please contact:

Dr Mark Osborne

Department of Chemistry
School of Life Sciences
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ

T: 01273 678328