Chemistry, cupcakes and cookies

25 July 2011

Tour de chemistryTour de chemistry: Tour guides (from left) Aneesa Omar and Kyle Fernandes, with audience members John Bassett and Soraya Allies.

Mini-lectures, a series of 'tours de chemistry', practical experiments and an intervarsity/interschool quiz are just some of the events that were hosted by UCT's Department of Chemistry in their International Year of Chemistry @ UCT programme, from 23 June to 5 July.

The International Year of Chemistry is a worldwide celebration promoted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to celebrate chemistry and its contributions to humankind, explains department head Professor Allen Rodgers.

"Since UCT's chemistry department is one of the top departments of its kind in Africa, it is appropriate that we participate in this global event by showcasing our achievements, expertise and appreciation of our discipline," he says.

This was the department's first event to specifically target the general public, says Rodgers, including Grade 12 learners as well as tiny tots (who were the target audience in a demonstration featuring chemistry, cupcakes and cookies).

As part of the department's outreach programme, about 100 invitations to attend the event were sent to schools in the Cape Metropole.

Presented by UCT staff and postgraduate students, the free event is part of the department's ongoing outreach programme that includes activities throughout the year, mainly targeting school learners of different ages.

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