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University to host 3,000 schoolchildren for spectacular chemistry show

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University to host 3,000 schoolchildren for spectacular chemistry show


Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities

More than 3,000 pupils from across the East Midlands and beyond will get a first-hand look at some explosive chemistry in action thanks to the University of Leicester.

The University will bring the travelling Modern Alchemist show to the city on 14 March– and has arranged two performances for pupils from more than 50 schools.

The Modern Alchemist show – organised by the Royal Institution and the Royal Society of Chemistry – uses dramatic feats of chemistry to explain important scientific principles.

University of Cambridge chemist Dr Peter Wothers, the show’s host, uses exciting fireballs and amazing chemical reactions to echo a sense of spectacle created by medieval alchemists for their royal masters.

But crucially, the shows give viewers a truly engaging introduction to the important scientific principles at work behind the impressive feats.

The show has toured the country following the successful 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES series held by the Royal Institution and shown on BBC Four – which featured assistance from Leicester’s own Professor Eric Hope.

The University of Leicester managed to secure performances of the live show in Leicester, and will host the show at De Montfort Hall on March 14 - with two shows for schools at 11.30am and 2pm, as well as a 7.30pm performance open to the general public.

Each of the schools lectures will hold 1,500 pupils aged 9 to 14, from 56 schools across the East Midlands.

Many of pupils are from schools are in Leicester and Leicestershire, though there will also be visits from schools in Grantham, Milton Keynes and Coventry.

The University’s Department of Chemistry was a natural choice to host the show in the region – as it has a great record of working with partners to deliver multi-institutional outreach work to school children of all ages and to the general public.

Professor Paul Cullis, of the University’s Department of Chemistry, who led the bid to bring the Modern Alchemist show to Leicester, said: “If we want to encourage children to study the sciences later in their school careers we have to engage with them at a young age. Events like this present real science in an exciting context suitable for a wide age range.

“The University of Leicester has a national reputation in delivering science events that are fun, targeted at schools and colleges and the general public and this is one of the reasons that the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Institution have chosen us to host this event.

“The response to the announcement of this lecture in terms of the number and range of schools has been fantastic.”

Tickets for the public show are £5, with concessions £3 available from: or 0116 233 3111.


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