Outreach within the Bristol ChemLabS CETL (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning)

  •  Dudley E. Shallcross    
  •  Tim G. Harrison    
  •  Tim M. Obey    
  •  Steve J. Croker    
  •  Nick C. Norman    


This paper presents an overview of the Bristol ChemLabS project. In particular, it describes the development and impacts of the outreach project within Bristol ChemLabS, the UK’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in practical chemistry, and its continuation beyond the funded project. The major elements of working with both primary and secondary aged students, both within their schools and within the undergraduate teaching laboratories, are described together with aspects of the science teacher training. The teaching elements include school’s conferences, workshops within the School of Chemistry as part of the Open Laboratory Programme, summer schools and overseas work. Evidence is provided that demonstrates the impact of this programme on enhancing positive attitudes toward science and further education for the school students, as well as providing enhancing and embedding learning opportunities for school students and their teachers. The very positive impacts on the postgraduate chemistry students that work alongside the School Teacher Fellow (STF), a secondary school teacher working within the School of Chemistry, is discussed and the vital role played by these postgraduates and the STF to the overall success of the Outreach Programme. Generating a sustainable (financially and in terms of personnel) Outreach programme of the size of Bristol ChemLabS (beyond the lifetime of the CETL programme) is a unique aspect amongst UK CETLs and the mechanism used to achieve this is also discussed.

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