The chemistry community of the University of Turin (Italy) has seen an opportunity in the International Year of Chemistry to try an experiment in science communication specifically focused on chemical sciences.
Chemistry fills quite a negative place in the collective imagination as it is often associated with environmental damages, pollution, toxic substances, etc. Common people rarely realize that chemistry plays a role in every aspect of daily life, somehow or other, and that a life without chemistry would not be possible.
Funded by Beacons for Wales, Ten young people aged between 13 and 18 from the Barnardo's Neath Port Talbot Partnership spent seven days and six nights in student halls in Swansea Metropolitan University on a residential drama week. They worked with a team of drama practitioners and technical students to produce their own piece of work based on the theme of 'Our Place in the Future'. The week began on Saturday 24th July 2010 and the performance took place on Friday July 30th.
The I National Competition of Crystallization in the School (http://www.lec.csic.es/concurso/) is a contest on crystallography and crystallization for young pupils that has been carried out among 20 secondary schools across 7 provinces (Granada, Cadiz and Malaga, Gerona, Oviedo, Murcia and Zaragoza) of 5 different regions (Andalusia, Catalonia, Asturias, Murcia and Aragon) throughout Spain.
Mathematics is often perceived as a dull, uninteresting and unpopular subject. It is socially acceptable to say in public that one is 'no good' at mathematics, and the subject is often undervalued or disparaged in the media by public figures.
Many existing initiatives aim to improve the public image of mathematics in schools, through teaching and in the media. However, the majority of the population is not 'reached' by books, mathematics lectures and programmes on elite radio stations and TV channels.
Our hands-on activity aims to convey that cutting-edge science is often hidden in plain sight, and accessible to people of all age groups and backgrounds. This is exemplified nowhere better than with Graphene, the world’s first two dimensional material, which was considered not to exist in a stable form. Graphene was first isolated only in 2004 by Manchester scientists Geim and Novoselov who were awarded the Nobel Prize for their efforts. Our activity allows just about anyone to make their own graphene with nothing more than a piece of graphite (pencil lead) and sticky tape like ‘Scotch’ tape. Indeed, this is identical to the way graphene was first isolated and now produced in high-tech clean room laboratories around the world. With this activity, we endeavour to allow people of all walks of life to experience the latest advances in science, and we reward their efforts with a chocolate Nobel medal!