News - Manchester University Chemistry lecture

Twenty five year 9 students were invited to Manchester University to observe a ‘Flash Bang’ Chemistry presentation. The students had no idea of what to expect other than thinking it was purely a general chemical lecture. Not so, the group was treated to a series of amazing and theatrical experiments.

Chemistry lecture 1

Professor Sarah Heath delivered the lecture. All watched in awe as she changed the colour of a liquid in less than a second, ignited and exploded items with almost magical finesse.

Chemistry lecture 3

Certain experiments were based on simple chemistry and yet produced incredible results, others on more complex scientific formulas with outstanding outcomes. One pupil said ‘the trip had bangs, pops and whizzes. It was very enjoyable and exciting!’.

One student recalled an experiment consisting of an ethanol and Fairy Liquid mix created Chemistry lecture 2to culminate in an evocative ‘whooshing’ sound.


Most expressed their favourite reactions to be those involving explosions such as one where fire travelling through a pipe at speed popped hydrogen filled balloons, another when Coke and Mentos were introduced resulting in a powerful explosion which tore to the ceiling, all, of course, conducted in a controlled safe environment.

Upon their return, students voiced appreciation of the lecture and experiments,  all having an enriched understanding of Chemistry and associated reactions, some being inspired to explore a career in the subject.  Student Alice Etheridge found it highly inspirational saying ‘I really enjoyed the different ways they explored Chemistry. Everything from sounds, to colours and explosions were really interesting.’  .

Thank you to Mr Mycock who organised the visit and well done to the students who were proactive and enthused throughout.

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