Sutton Trust Summer School 2021

The Chemistry Around Us & Saving Our Oceans

The School of Chemistry is very excited to host a number of high school students from all over the UK during the online Sutton Trust Summer School taking place the week commencing July 12th 2021. This Summer School has been running since 1997 and is targeted at high-achieving young people in S5 & Year12/13 in the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students gain a real taster for University life from studying, lectures, practical work, and tutorials to the social aspects of being an undergraduate throughout the week-long Summer School.

The week kicks off with an introductory session including ice breakers, a presentation on Studying Chemistry at The University of Edinburgh from Dr Peter Kirsop, and a presentation from one of our student ambassadors, Jessica Flowers, who will discuss the student perspective of a School of Chemistry undergraduate and host a mini Q&A on this topic.


Smartphone Spectrometer

Three of our talented Principal’s Career Development PhD Scholars, Yali Zhou, Jake Sutcliffe, and Kyle Barlow, worked with our Widening Participation & Outreach Officer, Dr Rebecca Burns, to build two new lectures with accompanying worksheets and fun activities. The lectures cover the chemistry underpinning everyday life from cosmetics to medicine and how chemists use analytical techniques to tell chemicals apart. Summer School students will also discover how chemists are tackling the plastic ocean pollution problem by learning about polymerisation, bioplastics and novel chemical recycling methods.

Sutton Trust Summer School students will also enjoy a choice of projects to take part in on Thursday 15th July, developed by Dr Burns. The first project students can take part in involves researching an environmental chemistry topic and presenting their findings on questions posed in their introductory material. The second project, titled “Smartphone Spectroscopy” was developed from the fantastic RSC resource of the same name and has students conduct an experiment at home (with all materials send to students prior to the summer school), record their findings and present them as a poster.

The team at the School of Chemistry are very much looking forward to viewing the presentations from the Summer School students and hope they enjoy the programme of events put together by the School and University Widening Participation Team!

Yali Zhou Poster
Jake Sutcliffe poster