School of Chemistry

Activities for Secondary Schools and Colleges


Salter’s Festival of Chemistry

Every spring, local secondary schools supply a team of four Year 7 or 8 pupils who take part in a day of challenges competing against each other. The day includes plenty of fun and practical chemistry with a Salter’s Challenge, a University Challenge and a performance of our Thunder and Lightning demonstration lecture. The festivals take place across the UK and Ireland and are an initiative of The Salter’s Institute in partnership with The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Teachers: For more information and to register a place for your school at a festival, visit




Salter’s Chemistry Camp

The Salters’ Insitute also organise residential summer camps for Year 10 students. Nottingham is host of two half-week Camps that aim to give young people a chance to learn practical chemistry skills in an undergraduate laboratory environment, and also have a taste of what university life is like.

Teachers: For more information and to nominate up to four of your students to participate in Camps visit


Thunder and Lightning Demonstration Lecture

Dr. Pete Licence and Mr Jim Gamble of the School of Chemistry wow audiences with their performance of a spectacular chemistry demonstration lecture filled with colour, flashes and loud bangs. A variety of experiments are carried out with the theme of ‘chemical energy’, and a number of performances are scheduled throughout the year.



Spectroscopy Workshop

The aim of this workshop is to supplement the student’s understanding of spectroscopic techniques and interpreting spectra studied in AS level Chemistry. The students will engage in sessions about nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy. Using these analytical techniques, they will deduce the structure of the unknown compound.

Teachers: Workshops run in the Autumn term. If you are interested in bringing your chemistry students to one of these workshops please contact Dr. June McCombie at for more information and to book your place.  


A-level Afternoon

Students and their teachers have the opportunity to visit the School of Chemistry and listen to academics talk about their research areas (which in the past have included nanoscience, organic synthesis, and green chemistry). They can also take part in a fun ‘treasure hunt’ looking for clues in the building, and finish their visit with a performance of the spectacular Thunder and Lightning demonstration lecture.

Teachers: This event usually takes place on the last Wednesday afternoon of January. If you are interested in bringing your chemistry students to this event please contact the Public Awareness Scientist no later than the 20th December to book your place. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.



School of Chemistry

University Park Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit: