University to help inspire next generation of chemists

Nottingham Trent University has been awarded £150,000 for its 'CHEMWORKS' project as part of a new initiative which aims to increase school pupils’ interest and participation in chemistry.

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The project will involve a range of creative and exciting chemistry-based activities
Some pupils have never met a chemist and know very little about what options chemistry can offer them.

Dr Karen Moss, Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University has been awarded £150,000 for its 'CHEMWORKS' project as part of a new initiative which aims to increase school pupils' interest and participation in chemistry.

The funding has come from the Royal Society of Chemistry to help explore and overcome the barriers faced by young people who wouldn't typically consider studying chemistry, or going onto higher education.

CHEMWORKS will see staff deliver a range of creative and exciting chemistry-based activities intended to inspire young people to study the subject at university level. The initiative will also involve supporting teachers to deliver high quality sessions in chemistry and science, which focus on creative approaches to learning.

University staff – from the School of Science and Technology, School of Education and Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach team – will be working with partners across the city, including Nottingham City Council, creative learning agency Ignite! and ambassadors from the STEMNET programme.

They will work with pupils from six Nottinghamshire schools over the next five years, starting with those beginning Year Eight this autumn. As a long-term project CHEMWORKS aims to offer effective support to local schools that will make a real difference to pupils, their families and teachers.

Nottingham Trent University was one of just four higher education institutions to receive funding via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s £1 million 'Chemistry for All' initiative.

Dr Karen Moss, Director of the Centre for Effective Learning in Science at Nottingham Trent University, said: "Some pupils have never met a chemist and know very little about what options chemistry can offer them, so we will be helping them to make informed choices about chemistry and related careers."

"We want to empower pupils through fostering curiosity, problem-solving, team-work, confidence, management and communication skills – all of which will stand them in good stead for future study and employment."

Nottingham Trent University has a long track record in innovative chemistry outreach. It was an original consortium partner for the RSC's Chemistry: The Next Generation outreach project and its successor Chemistry for our Future.

Dr Katherine Hare, Partnership Coordinator for the university’s Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach department, said: "This is a really exciting and important initiative to be involved in. We hope to change perceptions of chemistry by emphasising the importance of science and technology in everyday life and introducing pupils to a greater variety of career options."

Director of Programmes for Ignite!, Rick Hall, said: "This is a welcome programme for Ignite! to work with colleagues at Nottingham Trent University to encourage a more creative approach to the learning and teaching of chemistry, a vital area of science understanding."

Cllr Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: "This is great news and demonstrates how we are working together with our partners to inspire young people to take up science and technology careers. The Nottingham Growth Plan is focused on developing a skilled workforce for the knowledge economy. This fantastic initiative will help deliver that goal."

The CHEMWORKS project is a key component of the City's STEMWORKS programme, which is working to raise the level of skills and aspirations of young people in the growing science-related industries so vital to the city's growth and economy.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Head of Communications, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world's leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. For more information visit the Royal Society of Chemistry website.

University to help inspire next generation of chemists

Published on 13 June 2014
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Institute of Education; School of Science and Technology

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