Salters’ Festival of Chemistry 2016

Last week, on 18 an 19 May the Chemistry Department at the University of East Anglia welcomed school pupils to unravel the Salters’ Challenge and the University Challenge. The Kitchen Chemist was called in to entertain the competitors while the solutions were marked.

The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry has become an annual event at the UEA. Local school pupils from around 40 different schools are set two different challenges. The first, is to use chemical tests, along with some background information on suspects to work out who committed a crime, often a murder. This part is set by the Salters’ Institute.

After lunch the competitors return to the laboratory to pit their wits against the University Challenge. This year they had to work out how to make one of the colours of the rainbow using indicators, acids and alkalis. Each team was judged on its ability to make one colour to order.

While the judging and marking takes place the competitors, their teachers and some of the helpers are entertained with a chemistry show. That was the job of the Kitchen Chemist. The show this year was the relatively new “Kitchen Chemistry: Seconds“, which everyone seemed to enjoy.

If you would like to enter a team of Year 7/8 pupils to a Salters’ Festival of Chemistry take a look at their Festival website where news is posted and entries can be made.

Making water into wine.

Making water into wine.

Adding ammonia to a copper solution.

Adding ammonia to a copper solution.