Chemistry day to shine light on overlooked branch of science
PUBLISHED: 08:15 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 08 October 2019
Chemistry day at the Norwich Science Festival 2019 aims to shine a light on an often overlooked branch of science.
For some of us the word chemistry might conjure up the memory of long hours in the classroom frantically noting down chemical formulas from a whiteboard, but there's so much more to this scientific discipline.
On Thursday, October 24 the Norwich Science Festival will challenge these preconceived notions with Chemistry Day, sponsored by Briar Chemicals, featuring a packed schedule of events dedicated to exploring the subject and bringing it to life for all ages."
One of the events during the day is Mindblowing Materials, an hour-long interactive talk presented by Dr Jamie Gallagher at The Forum.
"Mindblowing Materials is about showing people chemistry in action, and demonstrating why it's so important to our understanding of the world," explains Jamie. "Chemistry is an often overlooked scientific field, so a big part of the talk is putting chemistry into context - it's so much more than just equations, you can see the real world implications all around you."
The event will answer questions such as: Can you power your phone with just your body heat? How do you create a battery for a space probe? What might we use to power our cars in the future? And plenty more questions will be tackled as Jamie blurs the boundaries of chemistry, engineering and physics.
These are big questions, with complicated answers, but don't worry, the event has been specifically tailored for families: "I always aim to put everything into accessible terms that younger audience members will be able to understand," says Jamie.
The talk is packed with interactivity that will keep even the most scientifically challenged audience members enthralled, these range from an atom experiment to powering a motor with electricity generated from a human body live on stage.
"I'm a visual learner, so my talks aren't just about throwing a huge stream of facts at people, there's always an aspect of showing rather than merely telling," says Jamie.
It's sure to be an event that will have the whole family engaged, and learning as well: "Chemistry is a living breathing subject and we're all a part of it every day, I hope people take that away from the talk."
Mindblowing Materials is on Thursday, October 24 at The Forum, Auditorium between 10.30-11.30am. Tickets are £4 and can be bought online at www.norwichsciencefestival.co.uk
Don't miss these chemistry highlights
Hidden Elements Periodic Table Trail
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Age: All ages
The hunt is on! Can you track down the elements in the periodic table trail? Pick up a map from The Forum, discover all the element displays, complete the trail, enter the prize draw and collect a certificate at the festival between October 18-26. Plus, come and see the giant periodic table in The Forum! Supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Elementary! A Celebration of 150 Years of Mendeleev's Periodic Table
Thursday, October 24, 3-4pm
Free, booking required
It's 150 years since the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev, arranged all of the then-known elements into a table. Researchers had attempted to systematise the known elements prior to Mendeleev, but his table was the one that took off. In this talk, Dr Stephen Ashworth (UEA, Kitchen Chemistry) looks at some of those early attempts and considers why we honour Mendeleev's approach. He shows how the periodic table has subsequently developed and reviews some alternative imaginings of the table
The Chemistry of Colour
UEA Lunchtime talks
Thursday, October 24, 12-12.30pm
The Forum's Gallery
In this talk, Hans Pfalzgraf, a postgraduate researcher in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, will be geeking out about molecules and how their colour is affected by their atoms, electrons and protons. Why are leaves green, and blood red? How do pH indicators work? What is the difference between fluorescence and phosphorescence? Come and learn essential chemistry concepts explained clearly and overenthusiastically!