A chance to find out about the activities hosted by the different RSC Networks. From the 35 Local Sections and 75 Interest Groups to RSC Reps and International Sections, this blog should give you a taster of the 500 events organised each year by the various RSC Networks for both RSC members and the public. If you've recently held an RSC event and would like to contribute to the blog, email: networks@rsc.org.

Local Section schools and public events 2011 - Ireland

I’m sure many of you read with interest the IYC events pull-out that came in the January issue of RSC News this year. Maybe you attended one or more of those events or know someone who did. As well as those activities there were, of course, a whole host of other schools and public events in the International Year of Chemistry organised by our hard-working and dedicated Local Section committees. Each week over the next 9 weeks this blog will feature a rundown of a selection of these fun and informative events carried out in the different regions across the UK and Ireland.
Remember, Local Section committees organise loads of events throughout the year, every year. Committees are keen to welcome new members to their ranks so if you fancy getting more involved contact your Local Section secretary by using the relevant link on the RSC website. Upcoming events are listed in the Events database of the RSC website and can be reached through the relevant Local Section’s webpage.

In Northern Ireland the Local Section committee organised the Potions and Explosions Chemistry Show. Science magician Sue McGrath astounded the audience with demonstrations of the explosive power of chemistry, revealing the wonders and magic of this science. Over 250 people attended the event, which was held in December at the University of Ulster.  As reported in a University Press release the event “went off with a bang with all the ingredients for a fun filled family event  – plenty of  noise, fizzing foam, revolting slime, and even a fire-breathing dragon!”

Dr Tony Byrne, a Reader in Ulster’s School of Engineering and Chair of the RSC’s NI Section said: “The event was a great success, and I hope it’ll help children enjoy science more and maybe even encourage some of them to think about science as a future career. The feedback from the show has been excellent and we’ve already had some enquiries from parents wanting to book places for next year.”

The Republic of Ireland Local Section committee organised and sponsored a series of lectures aimed at 14-16 year old students. The speaker was Dr Peter Douglas from Swansea University, UK, who delivered his hugely entertaining Colour and Light demonstration lecture with the help of Dr Michael Garley. Over 200 students attended the first lecture in Cork, which gave an overview of the interaction between chemistry and light, described how we use photochemistry today, and explored what photochemistry might offer for our futures. As explained by the Secretary of the Local Section committee, Dr Rachel Evans (Trinity College, Dublin) “By using a series of more than twenty demonstrations, the lecture explored how light is made, how it is used in technology and everyday life and how light might be used in the future to solve two of the most important problems facing mankind: the production of clean water and clean energy”. The event organiser, Dr Declan Kennedy added “Spontaneous rounds of applause greeted the various spectacular demonstrations and it was wonderful to see so many young people experiencing the excitement of Chemistry” A further two lectures in Dublin also attracted enthusiastic crowds of students who were hugely entertained when Peter demonstrated the recreational use of fluorescent paints and jewellery.
Another lecture for transition year and leaving cert school students sponsored by the Republic of Ireland Local Section was given by Profeesor A. P. De Silva of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the Queen’s University of Belfast.   The lecture 2011: A Small Space Odyssey with Luminescent Molecules was attended by about 350 students and described the use of molecules and their light emitting properties to ‘report’ properties of ‘small space’ environments such as a cell membrane. The event organiser, Professor Rory More O’Ferrall report that “with a combination of idiosyncratic style, autobiographical references and ingenious analogies with James Bond films, Professor De Silva had his audience eating out of his hand”.
Posted by Sarah Hobbs on Apr 24, 2012 1:25 PM Europe/London

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