HUNDREDS of local teenagers attending the interactive Chemistry at Work exhibition at the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus were given a taster of the many exciting and varied career opportunities opening up in science today.
Science at Work was hosted by Ulster’s Department of Pharmacy and aimed to show 14–16 year old students how the chemistry they are taught in the classroom as part of the GCSE syllabus is used by a variety of people in their everyday work.
Pharmaceutics lecturer and one of the event organisers, Dr Bridgeen Callan explained: “It can sometimes be difficult for some young people to understand the relevance of what they are being taught at school.
“Chemistry at Work was to show them that not only can chemistry be fun but it is fundamental to our everyday lives – from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, our emotions and literally every object we touch is all about chemistry.
“The event – which also included fun interactive demonstrations by Science Magician Sue McGrath - was to help them realise the importance of chemistry and how it can can be used to benefit society and open up many interesting career pathways for them.”
Dr Callan added that the feedback from both the pupils and their teachers was very encouraging.
“This is the second Science at Work event hosted by the Department and both the number of exhibitors and schools attending are well up on last year with almost 300 pupils attending from 13 different schools.”
The exhibitors represented a number of different pharmaceutical industries and academia, all of whom now employ staff who were once in a similar situation to the students attending the exhibition – studying for GCSE chemistry.
They included: Almac, Medicare Pharmacy Group, Norbrook Pharmaceuticals, Warner Chilcott, Randox, University of Ulster’s School of Environmental Science and Department of Pharmacy.
Each gave a ten minute demonstration and students had an opportunity to get involved in demonstrations and experiments and ask questions.