Outreach events provide an opportunity for our students and staff to showcase their research to non-specialist audiences and excite the general public about science. CRITICAT have been involved in several outreach events and welcome any opportunities to engage with the public. If you are interested in organising an outreach event with CRITICAT please contact Dr Kevin Jones at
for more details.
Bespoke School Events
All CRITICAT students have taken part in a bespoke outreach event with a local primary school. Our students took over the Byre Theatre and delivered a full day of practical experiments to school children aged between 4-10. The experiments were followed by an "ask the scientist" session, during which the children could ask questions to our PhD students and staff (FYI - Children ask the most original and insightful questions!). The day was a resounding success and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
"On behalf of everyone, I would like to say a HUGE thank you for all of your hard work and effort. The children had a great experience and gained a lot from the day. Please pass on our thanks to your students. They were so kind, patient and encouraging with our chilldren"
- Louise Donaldson (Head Teacher, Crail Primary School)
All CRITICAT students take part in ChemBus training, an initiative developed by the RSC local Tayside section that organises visits to local schools and allows school children to take part in a series of practical experiments. Further details regarding ChemBus can be found here.
Dundee Science Festival and Science Centre
CRITICAT cohorts have delivered science themed "family fun days" as part of the Dundee Science Festival. The event included practical experiments such as the construction of a glowstick, making a "rainbow in a bottle" and a build-a-battery workshop. We have also contributed to a "meet the researchers" day at Dundee Science Centre in which our students met with members of the public to discuss their research.
Continued Professional Development Events
We have contributed to the Nigel Botting Teachers’ Meeting, held each year at St Andrews. This CPD event brings together teachers from all over Scotland and aims to showcase experiments and ideas that align with the "Ciriculum for Excellence".
We developed a series of experiments based around food chemistry and photocatalysis that could be used as part of the “Nature's Chemistry” module within Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers (photocatalysis experiment & popcorn experiment). We produced a teacher “goody bag” with the materials required to conduct the experiments. We have also developed a series of low-cost chemistry apparatus that can be used by schools with limited budgets.
Science and the Parliament
Our students have participated in Science and the Parliament, an event that brings together policy makers and the science community. Our students presented their research to politicians and policy makers as well as listening to debates relating to the future of scientific education.
Sutton Trust and Summer School Lectures
CRITICAT students have delivered a series of lectures to students enrolled in Sutton Trust and International Summer School Programmes. These events aimed to demystify elite universities and encourage students from less privileged backgrounds to consider attending university.
Students delivered a lecture entitled “Breaking Barriers” that discussed their research and how they had become interested in science. The lecture involved interactive elements including “human” chiral column chromatography, handling chemicals under an inert atmosphere and crystallising enzymes on the big screen.