The hands on activities were initially developed for the 2010 British Science Festival that ran 13th-19th September at Aston University. The activities comprised:

  • Aerosol from an Orange:  This experiment demonstrates how secondary organic aerosols is generated following the reaction between volatile organic species and ozone.  In this case, the precursor species are the natural terpenes found in orange peel. The equipment for this experiment can be found in most University Chemistry Departments – please contact me if you require further details.
  • Challenge the Leicester Nose: In this activity, the public were challenged to identify four steroisomers better than our electronic nose – a table-top mass spectrometer. The isomers we used were S-(+)-Carvone (caraway), R-(–)-carvone (spearmint), (-)α-Pinene (pine) and (+)α-Pinene (orange)
  • The power of UV: UV radiation drives chemistry of the atmosphere. To make the invisible UV visible, students made bracelets and paintings that changed colour under UV light.  Photochromic paint and bracelet beads were purchased from Steve Spangler Science. 

The outlined activities continued to be delivered as part of a G.C.S.E environmental science masterclass I developed for the National Space Academy. Additionally, some of the activities were adopted as final year B.SC. educational research projects that I supervised 2011-2013.

This outreach project was developed using funding from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NERC) in 2010.