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May 9th 2018

Solving riddles and cracking codes at the Salters' Festival

Buffy, Sienna, Amira and I went to the Chemistry Institute at UCL to take part in the Salters’ Festival. After a brief introduction to the festival and timetable for the day in the conference hall, we were taken to a massive science lab and given a booklet detailing what to do. There were three practicals set out and we had to work in pairs to solve riddles, crack codes and test different substances in order to work out who stole the centenary trophy. It was really fun and I think that we did quite well!

Our second challenge was to slow down the reaction of two chemicals so that the mixture clouded completely in exactly one minute. This was harder and it took us ages to dilute the mixture enough to get it to one minute. Finally, we returned to the conference hall and we were given a really interesting talk by Professor Andrea Sella about what happens when substances experience extreme changes in temperature. He ended his talk by making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and the awards were handed out to the schools who won. Although we didn’t win, it was an amazing experience and we all really enjoyed our trip.

Written by Isabel, Year 8

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