Crime solving at the Salters' Festival at Keele

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Posted on 20 May 2016

One hundred students from 17 schools in Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire enjoyed an exciting day of science last week at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry held on campus. Each school was represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds.

During the first session teams took part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity, "The Salters' Challenge" - "Murder comes to Salterstown" in which they used their analytical chemistry skills to solve the crime.

They then competed in the "University Challenge", a practical activity chosen by the University, where they investigated materials that protect us from the Sun, part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Mission: Starlight Global Experiment. That was followed by a fun lecture given by Dr Katherine Haxton.

The day ended with a prize-giving at which all participants were given individual fun prizes and participation certificates, and the winning teams were awarded prizes for their schools by Professor Jonathan Wastling, PVC and Dean of Natural Sciences.

The following day, the festival was for teams with special educational needs and disabilities. They investigated dyes from squid, beetles and plants, and different fabrics. The teams then carried out part of Mission: Starlight and designed a space suit to protect from ultra-violet light.

Dr Katherine Haxton, who organised the festival at Keele, said: "The festivals were a lot of fun for all involved: our undergraduate student helpers, staff, and the school children."