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NI FREE Events, ASE NI Conference and respond to NI Minister for Education

9 May 2013

RSC and QUB updates for forthcoming events in May/June of this year. All QUB/RSC events are free and, when limited, will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

RSC ChemNet event: Taster Day for Queens University School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

After the success of our first taster day last August, QUB and the RSC are running it again this year from 9.30am-4.30pm on Monday the 26th August. The day is designed to give students a flavour of what it is like to be a student in the department. Participants will get to see around the department and meet members of staff, postgraduates and current undergraduates. They will have lectures in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and also carry out some experiments in both the Chemical Engineering pilot plant and the Chemistry undergraduate labs. This year we will include a careers section with talks from some local industry members. Lunch will be provided. Interested students should email

RSC ChemNet event at the Sentinus Young Innovators Exhibition

The RSC is funding one of the largest ChemNet events ever at the 2013 Sentinus exhibition on Monday the 17th June! Matthew Tosh will be presenting “The Fire Science Show” and will demonstrate concepts such as oxidation, rates of reaction, exothermic reactions and the control of energy releases to produce different sound effects. These will be shown using a combination of table-top demonstrations and professional pyrotechnics. He'll also take the audience through some of the physical chemistry behind colours, including electron transitions as well as a behind-the-scenes look at a professional firework rig and how the various colours and sounds are put into action to create a fireworks display.

Download the booking form.

Secondary schools will have some priority on this event, the booking form and program for the event are attached. Please return completed forms ASAP to

QUB Annual Teacher Conference: Thursday 20th June from 9.30-3.30pm

This year we will have a wide range of activities on offer including an RSC “Learn Chemistry” CPD course taken by Iris Suitor who will demonstrate effective ways to engage students in post 16 “Organic Chemistry.” We will also have a hands-on tutorial on using the free online RSC tools for teaching and learning including “Spectraschool”.  Lunch included.

As usual places are limited, to book please email

Developing Expertise in Practical Chemistry – Thursday 6th June 2013

Thanks to collaboration between Queens University Belfast and the RSC, we are delighted to offer this one-day course (normally £50) for free to recently qualified chemistry teachers of 11-18 year olds. NQTs will have the opportunity to improve their confidence and expertise in using a variety of exciting practical activities to enhance teaching and learning in chemistry. For more information see:

Please email to book a place.

Other events/information which may be of interest

ASE NI Branch Conference

The ASE NI Branch is holding a conference for science teachers and technicians on Friday 7th June 2013. They have lots of hands on activities on offer as well as workshops, expert lectures, and information on the latest GCSE and ‘A’-Level reforms with strategies for tackling the new 6-mark GCSE questions. Iris Suitor from the RSC be running one of our “Learn Chemistry” CPD workshops for post 16 Chemistry on “Energy and Change”.

More information

Review of GCSE and A level qualifications in N. Ireland - your say on options for the future of the qualifications system.

In October 2012 the Minister for Education John O'Dowd MLA, announced a Review of GCSEs and A-levels in N. Ireland, which CCEA has been taking forward. They have consulted widely and on that basis have generated four options for each of GCSE and A-level. It is now the intention of CCEA to widen the opinions sought and to this end an open questionnaire has gone live and may be found at: 

If you are interested in attending a meeting on the above or would like to have an input into the ASE response to the consultation please contact the ASE Field Officer, Michelle Ryan,