On September 30th Year 9 students were treated to a lecture demonstration from Dr Jonny Furze from the University of Bristol chemistry department. The students were given a 60-minute show about the major constituent gases found in our atmosphere and some of the ways they react. The students were shown liquid nitrogen and its freezing effect on everyday objects, hydrogen gas and its explosive nature with the deep boom of the explosion heard echoing through the corridors of the school, the solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) and the effect it is having on our oceans via the use of regular tap water and universal indicator solution, and the combusting ‘whoosh’ of burning alcohol and oxygen as well as the ever popular ‘elephant’s toothpaste’ demonstration.
It was fantastic to have the visiting chemistry show return to Malmesbury School after the disruption of the previous years from Covid-19 and the students were enthralled and engaged asking and answering a variety of questions to help further their understanding. The show will help add further context to the materials covered in class by our students and has hopefully inspired them to consider studying chemistry beyond GCSE as well as thinking more about the future of our atmosphere on Earth.