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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Chemistry activities

Chemistry staff run a variety of engaging masterclasses and workshops, both at the Mile End campus where the Department of Chemistry is located and in schools across London and the South East.

Below is a list of chemistry outreach activities that target students of various ages.

Chemistry Residential Summer School,  3 days held in July, Y12Students in the chemistry laboratory during the 2022 residential summer school

The Chemistry Residential Summer School at Queen Mary University of London is a three-day program for Year 12 students from Schools based in the UK who have chosen to study chemistry (A level or IB) and are interested in pursuing a degree in Chemical Sciences.

The highly successful 2023 Summer School was led by Dr Giorgio Chianello and gave participants the opportunity to experience a Russell Group university and gain a real insight into studying chemistry at a research-intensive institution. The three-day residential school involved workshops, lectures, and laboratory sessions in our new £5.5 million world class teaching laboratory. Internationally leading scientists contributed to the delivery of the different activities, and there were opportunities to discuss career options and degree choices.

Spectroscopy in a suitcase workshops

We are a provider of the Royal Society of Chemistry Spectroscopy in a Suitcase program. These are interactive workshops covering the theory as well as the hands on applications of IR, NMR and MS. More information is available here. 

RSC Schools' Analyst Competition, South East Regional Heat, 1-day, Y12-teams of 3 studentsChemistry Laboratory

School and colleges in the East Anglia Region can send one team of three of Year 12 students to take part in this analytical chemistry-based competition. It is normally held in February each year and lasts one day. Each member of the top three teams receives prizes and the winning team may be selected to attend the National Final held in June each year at a university in the UK. Further information is available from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Spectroscopy Masterclasses, ½-day; Y12/Y13; 3-4 events per year

Always popular, this session includes a 2-hour theory class, with problem-solving followed by an opportunity to view demonstrations of FTIR (students get hands-on experience to run liquid and solid samples), NMR and GC-MS instrumentation. This class is intended to support and aid an understanding of spectroscopy that forms a part of the AS/A2 chemistry syllabus.  Schools can also borrow the 'Spectroscopy in a Suitcase' kit from the RSC which can be used at the school.

Salters’ Festival of Chemistry, 1-day, Y10/11Students in lab coats carrying out an experiment at the Salter's Festival 2019

Each year, around Easter, we host the ever-popular Salters’ Institute Festivals of Chemistry Discovery Days. Teams of Y10/11 students explore all that chemistry offers as a subject area and as a gateway to many careers, through carrying out experiments in the lab, meeting our alumni, and experiencing an exciting and explosive demonstration lecture.

Chemistry Is Kool – lecture/demonstration, all ages, ~1 hr

This very popular practical and fun talk is aimed for students of all ages (5-18 years) but may be adapted for a non-scientific audience of any age, such as a youth club or society. This session aims to demonstrate the fun and relevance of chemistry in the modern world through a series of bright, loud and often smelly demonstrations using everyday objects and chemicals! The lecture/demonstration can be part of a ½ day visit to QMUL that includes a Campus Tour and a visit to the Department, or can be taken to the school/college.


Other topics on which we can supply speakers include:

  • Why study chemistry?
  • Careers in chemistry/science

For more information please email us on 

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