12th Chemistry Demonstration Workshop for Educators

Thanks to everybody who organised, attended and volunteered for this event!!

Pictures: Oisin McHugh, True Media

The highly successful Chemistry Demonstration Workshop for educators, now in its 12th year, ran from July 4th to 6th in the University of Limerick. This three-day residential workshop offers exemplary professional development for secondary school science teachers. This year, we look forward to welcoming 17 teachers from across the country to the workshop.

The workshop is jointly sponsored by the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), BioPharmaChem Ireland, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemical Sciences in the University of Limerick. In addition, the workshop is supported by both the Institute of Physics in Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The course places strong emphasis on peer learning with high levels of interactivity. All participants will have the opportunity to watch experienced demonstrators, to access printed materials and internet resources, and to leave with materials and tested demonstrations for use in schools. Special guest presenters from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics will offer a wide variety of demonstrations for teachers to add to their teaching toolkit.
The safety aspects of chemistry teaching along with the role ICT can now play in laboratory or classroom teaching are embedded within the course. Moreover, the course places an emphasis on tuition, design, questioning and inquiry-based learning. On the final day of the Chemistry Demonstration Workshop, teachers working in pairs will perform a short science show to display their skills and competence with science demonstrations.

When asked what the most successful part of the workshop was, last years’ participants had this to say – “the fact that we were able to try every experiment ourselves and encouraged to ask questions and try things out”. Reflecting on the skills learned throughout the week, another participant said she would be confident to “integrate it in to everyday science chapters”.  One teacher remarked that the workshop provided “everyone with the confidence to complete any demonstration” and that “all teachers should do this course”.