For a second year running, and as part of their mandatory outreach training, CDT students came together to plan and deliver the Sustainable Chemistry Summer School, which took place 16-21 July 2017.
The School was organised as part of the University of Nottingham widening participation scheme and was aimed at A level students. The students had the opportunity to learn about sustainable chemistry, participate in discussions about the role of sustainability in today’s world and learn practical research techniques, whilst staying on campus and getting a taste of University life.
The school programme covered a range of interesting topics and related practical experiments such as: biodiesel production from plant oil, energy storage and building an aluminium air battery, renewable feedstocks including ‘Cups to Cleaners’ experiments on hydrolysis of post-consumer waste Polylactic Acid (PLA) and extraction of Limonene from orange peel.
The participants provided excellent feedback with the vast majority agreeing that the School gave them a flavour of what to expect at the University.
Some of the answers to the question about what they enjoyed the most were:
“The staff were very helpful. They treated us like University students and gave us the freedom to explore the lab, responsibly.
They were very approachable and I felt that I could ask them any questions about the session and the University in general. Absolutely loved it.”
“Having the independence to do the experiment on my own but I still felt confident to ask for help
“We were able to expand the experiment and work in bigger groups to achieve a better result.”
“The fact that we got to test our product after we had made it.”