Messing about with Dry Ice & More: ChemOutreach
ChemOutreach is a volunteering branch of ChemSoc which is run by students and has the aim of inspiring young people in the sciences. I can’t hype up this society enough, I have been part of the society since first year and the work the society does and the commitment shown by its volunteers and especially the Outreach leaders is remarkable.
The Technical part:
There are four schools-based programmes running this year which work with primary schools, secondary schools and sixth forms. There is also a scheme which helps Biochemists with Organic Chemistry. The four programmes are:
· Inspire Demonstrations This involves visiting local primary schools where we (the volunteers) deliver a 1-hour lesson to year 4, 5 and 6 pupils. The lesson uses dry ice to demonstrate the states of matter and how transitions occur between them. I have done a number of dry ice demonstrations and they are seriously fun and very fulfilling to do! The experiments performed are all very visual, making volcanoes with bubbles is a definite favourite among the kids. Every time I do an inspire demonstration I leave with so much pride, in particular when we demonstrated to a group of children from a local special needs school. Having a sibling with special needs I knew the demonstrate would be a huge hit, and with slight modifications focusing more on the sensory interaction between demonstrator and pupil rather than scientific information the hour was hugely successful for both volunteer and pupil.
· Inspire Science Club This is an after-school science club which supports key stage 2 students with science projects. This year the 5 week programmes allows kids to investigate rocks and roils and then to present their work.
· DoTryThis@School Run in coordination with the Royal Society of Chemistry, the programme aims to inspire local year 8 and 9 student to consider choosing science subjects as it comes time for them to makes decisions on which GCSE’s they would like to take. An important part of this programme is to talk to the students and bust some of the myths which come with choosing science as an educational pathway.
· Think Science This programme is the next step after DoTryThis@School and hopes to promote science at University to local sixth form students. This is a huge part of the work ChemOutreach does and involves a much larger number of students, for example, last year 150 local sixth form students visited Warwick Gibbet Hill campus to attend a series of lectures from 25 world-leading Warwick-based academics.
The Chemistry society as a whole is amazing and if you come to Warwick University I’m sure you’ll find yourself involved in something to do with ChemSoc whether it is just coming for the free pizza on a Monday afternoon. If you ever felt like giving Outreach a go I would seriously encourage you to do so, my confidence in public speaking has increased massively. Before, the idea of giving a presentation would make me incredibly anxious but after speaking with sometimes up to 90 pairs of eyes staring at you presenting to a small group of your peeps is a breeze. Additionally, if you rack up 20 hours of volunteering hours this will go on your HEAR report which looks great in interviews and on your CV.