128 students from 32 schools in the Midlands will enjoy an interesting fun-filled day of chemistry at the Salters' Festival of Chemistry to be held at the University of Birmingham on Tuesday May 1st and Thursday May 3rd 2012.  Each school will be represented by a team of four 11-13 year olds. 

During the morning the teams will take part in a competitive, hands-on, practical activity called  “The Salters’ Challenge – Money, Money, Money…” in which they will use their analytical chemistry skills to solve a murder mystery. 

In the afternoon the students will compete in the “University Challenge”, a practical activity in which they will be required to identify solutions using their problem-solving skills.  This will be followed by a fun lecture by Dr Ray Plevey, Honorary Lecturer from the University of Birmingham, involving a range of exciting demonstration experiments.

The day will end with a prizegiving ceremony when all participants will be given individual fun prizes and participation certificates and the winning teams will be awarded prizes for their schools.

The Salters' Festivals of Chemistry are an initiative of The Salters' Institute, whose aim is to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young.  The Festival at the University of Birmingham is one of a series of 54 Festivals which are taking place at Universities throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland between March and June 2012.


For more information please contact:

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.


Miss Fleur Layzell

Publicity Co-ordinator

The Salters' Institute

Tel No: 020 7628 5962 ext 260





Editors Notes

1. The Festivals are one-day events for schools held at Universities throughout the UK and Ireland.  The first series of Festivals was held in 1991.  Festivals were then held in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000.  Since 2000 Festivals have been held every year.  In 2012 there will be a series of 53 Festivals being hosted by 40 universities between March and June.  The aim of the Festivals is to make chemistry more exciting, more relevant and fun to students aged 11 to 13 years and to encourage schools to set up their own chemistry clubs.

2. Competing schools are represented by a team of four students from years 7 or 8 (or equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). Prizes for the winning schools are awarded at each Festival and all participants receive fun prizes and certificates.   During the last eleven years, over 31,500 students have experienced the fun of practical chemistry through the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry.

3. Since 1991 sponsorship support of the Festivals has been raised from over one hundred companies. Many of the Festivals are also sponsored by local companies. 

4. The Salters’ Company is one of the Great Twelve City of London Livery Companies and was founded in 1394 for the medieval trade in salt.  The Company’s activities today are centred on charitable and educational giving.  The Salters' Institute, established in 1918, and now the Flagship Charity of the Salters' Company, aims to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences among the young and to encourage careers in the teaching of chemistry and in the UK chemical and allied industries.

5. The Institute’s three core activities are the Salters' Festivals of Chemistry for 11 to 13 year olds; Salters' Chemistry Camps for those aged 15, in partnership with other scientific institutions, and Curriculum Development, undertaken at The University of York, including Twenty First Century Science and Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology, Salters Advanced Chemistry and Salters Horners Advanced Physics.

6. The area covered by pupils and schools attending the University of Birmingham’s Festival stretches from Stamford and Northampton in the east to Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock in the west; from Nottingham and Derby in the north to Stroud and Chipping Campden in the south.

7. The Salters’ Festival of Chemistry is in partnership with The Royal Society of Chemistry.