Nottingham High School Chemistry Murder Mystery Day
A day for budding young chemists to use Chemistry skills to solve a murder mystery scenario.
The aim was to offer the opportunity to use Chemistry in a fun and meaningful way.
The need was to inspire an enthusiasm for Science in primary school students, by showing how Chemistry skills can be used in exciting and real-life scenarios.
For the event to be a success, we needed pupils to attend from a range of schools across the Nottingham area.
Pupils and staff from 10 schools benefitted from the activities.
Nottingham High School hosts an annual programme of STEM outreach events, run by our Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Maths departments. Part of the schools’ ethos is to share its facilities and STEM opportunities with other schools in the local community. The school’s Chemistry Murder Mystery Day has been running annually since 2018 (aside from 2 years exempted by COVID-19).
For this project to succeed, we needed free access to the school’s Chemistry lab, as well as 3 members of teaching staff, 2 technicians from our Chemistry department, and 20 Sixth Form students to support the children on the day.
The schools’ Head of Admissions and Partnership oversaw the invitation and booking process.
Our Science Technicians prepared and maintained the lab spaces and equipment, to be ready for safe and effective use.
The catering staff provided refreshments and lunch free of charge for visiting children and school staff.
The event itself ran for 4 hours, with approximately 3 days of preparation time.
“We had an excellent day, and the children came back buzzing. They loved mixing chemicals, learning about chromatography, and taking part in experiments. Our students enjoyed talking to the A Level students, and all our pupils were really keen to perform well on the day. A very well-run event - we look forward to coming again!” Mrs Menzano, Forest Fields Primary School
“Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed visiting another school and getting the chance to work in a Chemistry laboratory. We enjoyed learning about and using the different equipment and apparatus used in the forensic science part. Our pupils also enjoyed being supported by your friendly pupils.” Aly Woods, Mellers Primary School
"I enjoyed all the events throughout the day. I was amazed that we could go into to the large labs and do actual experiments." Hashim (pupil), Bentinck Primary School
"The children shared their day with the class and then to the whole school on Friday when they received their certificates. They were so happy to share and their parents commented on how enthusiastic they were about going and then sharing their day with them.
I was very impressed with how the day was planned and how well the older children supported and encouraged them. It was nice to see the children mixing and sharing time together at lunch too.
I was grateful for the opportunity to mix with other professionals and find out about their schools.
We all enjoyed the day and would love the opportunities to experience similar activities again." Miss Clay, Bentinck Primary School
After each event, visiting teachers complete a survey to summarise what their pupils learned and enjoyed about the activity, along with any suggestions for improvement.
40 girls and boys aged 8-9 from 10 local state primary schools, and 13 members of staff.
The Chemistry Murder Mystery Day runs annually.