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Briar Chemicals invited people to immerse themselves in science and get hands-on with Chemistry at the first ever Norwich Science Festival.

The Chemistry Day, sponsored by Briar Chemicals, was organised by the East Anglian section of the Royal Society of Chemistry and attracted over a 1,200 people from across the region.

Norwich’s first major science festival provided a fantastic opportunity for everyone to take part in a variety of experiments including building atoms, making rainbows, exploring the chemistry in your own kitchen, writing secret messages and making slime spheres.

Making science fun at Norwich Science Festival Chemistry Day
Making science fun at Norwich Science Festival’s Chemistry Day

For older students, there were more complex experiments; investigating how food dyes work and identifying different materials using a research grade spectrometer.

Dr Sean Thurston, education coordinator for the Royal Society of Chemistry (East) said: “Research by the Royal Society of Chemistry has shown that people have, on the whole, a positive view of chemistry – but really don’t understand what a chemist does day to day. Events like this let us fill in those gaps in the public knowledge.”

Norwich Science Festival welcomed over 1,200 people on Chemistry Day

The day aims to show people how chemistry is all around them in their everyday life, while showcasing some of the fantastic scientists we have in East Anglia.

A team of volunteers from Briar Chemicals hosted the ‘making slime spheres’ experiments; an activity that fascinated all ages. Tim Green, site manager at Briar Chemicals said: “For many years we have worked with local schools promoting science learning as fun and it’s fantastic to be able to work together with other local specialists, to provide free access to everyday science, in a fun and informative environment for youngsters.”

Briar Chemicals and Royal Society of Chemistry Volunteers
Volunteers from Briar Chemicals and Royal Society of Chemistry

We want to inspire young people with the wonder of science, and hopefully encourage them to become scientists of the future.

Briar Chemicals gave short career talks throughout the day, engaging with audiences of all ages. Carmina, a student work placement at Briar Chemicals, is currently studying a Chemical Engineering degree at Loughborough University is keen to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects.

Encouraging young children to enjoy science subjects
Encouraging young children to enjoy science

The first ever city wide Norwich Science Festival, which took place from 18-30 October 2016, celebrated the vibrant and ground breaking aspect of the city. Norwich has long held a world-class reputation for leading scientific discovery, including research at the University of East Anglia on ways to improve crop yields to tackle global food shortages.

Festival highlights included pioneering scientist Lord Robert Winston, a leading expert on fertility and IVF, ‘the people’s astronomer’ Mark Thompson of Stargazing Live and Ben Garrod, an evolutionary biologist and award-winning broadcaster, co-presenting ‘Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur’ with Sir David Attenborough.