A Future in Chemistry (12th July 2017)

A group of KS3 students visited the University of Reading on 11th July. This unique opportunity gave them a taste of what it is like to be a Chemistry undergraduate student.

On arrival, Bailey, Dhruv, Conner, Luke and Oliver enjoyed a welcome drink and admired the beautiful stair case in the shape of a double helix (like DNA) in the lobby. They then went to one of the undergraduate lecture theatres to meet up with Dr. Jenny Elley who gave a 30-minute lecture which was motivational and inspirational for all of them. During the lecture, the students asked lots of relevant questions like – what do chemists do, what science courses are available for them to apply for and where they can get help with their choices.

At the end of the lecture there was a quiz in which all the students scored between 67% and 100% and were highly praised by Dr. Jenny Elley. She told them that they came first out of the three other schools visiting the university the same morning. Their confidence has gone up to the sky, and they made us proud!

Next they visited the Cole museum – this offered another exciting session for them. The students could not take their eyes off the giant skeletons which included an Indian elephant, monkey, blue whale and another 4000 plus different species from the rear collection of the Biology department.

The culmination of the day was the fireworks demo lecture in the Chemistry laboratory. Seeing experiments with dry ice, hydrogen gas and different indicators made for a brilliant end to the successful visit, which included lots of fun, noise and colour.

All students left the laboratory with a big smiles on their faces. See, Science can be fun after all and they all have every chance to become scientists! Why not? It’s up to them to decide what to do in the future.


Students from Northern House School visited the Chemistry Department at the University of Reading on Tuesday 11th July. They experienced a mini lecture where they heard about the different careers and routes into chemistry, enjoyed learning about what it is like to be a university student on a tour of campus, saw some fascinating animal skeletons at the Cole Museum of Zoology and topped it off with an exciting demonstration lecture involving lots of fire and explosions. The students were exceptionally well behaved and show promise to be great scientists of the future.

- Dr. Jenny Elley - University of Reading