Fairlamb Research Group

Catalysis, Synthetic and Mechanistic Chemistry

Outreach Activities

  • We have written popular science articles for Chemistry Review, on transition metals and carbon monoxide-releasing molecules. 
  • In recent years we have been keen to interact and collaborate more closely with schools.  For example, with Lynam and Willans (Leeds) we have developed lecture demonstration classes on “Chemistry at Christmas” and “Solids, Liquids and Gases”.  Both lectures have been delivered annually to high school classes (pupils aged 14-15) and primary school classes (pupils aged 7-8).  A highlight was the delivery of several Christmas lectures at Wetherby High School (see below).  
  • IJSF has previously delivered activities through the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), in addition to training school teachers in drug discovery at the National STEM Learning Centre.

  • Typical activity: In late 2013, Dr. Jason Lynam and Professor Ian Fairlamb delivered four Christmas Demonstration Lectures at Wetherby High School. The first was delivered to year 10 students (ca. 150), with typical demonstrations included: 1) pH changes using universal indicator and solid carbon dioxide / addition of sodium bicarbonate to red cabbage water; 2) production of hydrogen from graphite pencils in water using a 9 volt PP3 battery; 3) degradation of hydrogen peroxide using fresh liver to give molecular oxygen, which was then reacted on with toluene in a balloon; 4) the Christmas dinner digestion with hydrochloric acid; 5) ice-cream making using both ice/NaCl and liquid nitrogen. The demonstration that received the most interest was the liquid nitrogen frozen orange slice, which quickly turned to an orange power at -196 °C (under controlled conditions).  Similar demonstrations were shown to the primary school children (aged 9-10), in three lectures, where there was direct participation in the solids, liquids and gases demonstration.

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