Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

The Salters’ Institute Festivals of Chemistry are one-day fun events held at universities and colleges throughout the UK and Ireland. They provide an opportunity for enthusiastic young students to spend a day in a university/college department and to take part in practical chemistry activities which are fun!

The Salters’ Institute host two Festivals of Chemistry programmes annually:

  • Festivals of Chemistry (AGES 11-13)
  • Festivals of Chemistry (AGES 13-14)

Please see questions below for further information on the Festival programmes.

The Festivals run annually between March-July, for specific dates see the Festival Entry page.

Yes, entry to both types of Festivals is allowed as long as the correct year groups take part in each Festival programme.

The cost of each Festival is £30 (€35) per school (non-refundable), plus travel expenses.

Please note: payment will not be requested until you have been advised that your place has been confirmed.

You can only enter online at our website. Click on this link >

Please note: Entries open in November for the following year’s Festivals of Chemistry.

You will receive an automated message within a minute to say that your entry has been received. If this message does not appear, your entry hasn’t been received and it may not have been completed correctly.  Please try again!

Allocation of Festival places takes place at the beginning of February and you will receive an email advising whether your school has been awarded a place at the Salters’ Festivals of Chemistry. This email will contain your login details to access your own ‘Festivals Account’ on our website. On your account you will need to complete a confirmation form and make payment for the Festival entry fee.

It is essential that you complete and submit the confirmation form and make the payment by the date indicated in the email otherwise your place can be reallocated to another school on the waiting list.

When you have returned your confirmation form and made payment you will be able to access information regarding the Festival (e.g. directions, programme details etc.)

Any students enthusiastic about Chemistry are welcome!

Schools use many methods to select students to attend. Examples include: selecting regular attendees of the school Chemistry/Science club, creating a competition and taking the winners, simply picking names out of a hat, or perhaps choosing those students you feel would get the most out of the day or are the most deserving.

Payment can be made via PayPal through your Festivals of Chemistry Account, by bank transfer or by cheque once your school has been offered a place at a Festival.

An invoice will be made available to you on your Festivals of Chemistry Account.

Please note: There will be a delay between making payment and your payment status updating online due to financial processing taking place.

If you need to cancel your entry for any reason it is essential that you contact the Festivals Programme Co-ordinator at the Salters’ Institute (festivals@salters.co.uk) and not the University Host. Failure to do so in time will incur the cancellation fee.

Schools who cancel within fourteen days of the Festival, or who fail to show up on the day, will be charged an additional cancellation fee of £30 (€35).  

Online Festivals Account

If you have yet to activate your online Festivals Account, you firstly have to click on ‘Festivals Login’ in the top right hand corner of the Institute website and enter the username and password issued to you in your offer email under the ‘Activate’ section on the left hand side of the page.

Once your account has been activated, you can then proceed to login.

Please note you only have to activate your account once. Once activated, you can proceed directly to login to your account each time. 

If you have yet to activate your online Festivals Account, you firstly have to click on ‘Festivals Login’ in the top right hand corner of the Festivals homepage and enter the username and password issued to you in your offer email.

Once your account is activated, enter your username and password under the ‘Login’ section on the right hand side of the page.

Please note you only have to activate your account once. Once activated, you can proceed directly to login to your account each time. 

Please manually enter your username and password to ensure that no spaces are added (i.e. do not copy and paste). Your password is also case sensitive so please ensure that you enter your password in upper case with no spaces (e.g. EC2Y5DE).

If your login is still not working:

  • Please ensure you have activated your account first before trying to login. For further details about how to activate your account, please see ‘How do I activate my Festivals Account?
  • Please ensure that you are entering the correct password and it has not been changed since activating your account.
  • Try emptying the cache in your browsing data on your web browser. For further details as to how to clear your cache, click here http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-Cache
  • Try opening your account using a different internet browser such as Google Chrome. Download Google Chrome here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

If you continue to have problems logging in to your Festivals Account, please contact the Festivals Programme Co-ordinator on festivals@salters.co.uk or 020 7628 5962 Ext. 223

No, all Festivals that you apply for shall be shown under one Festivals Account.

Please note: There will be a delay between making payment and your payment status updating online due to financial processing taking place. 

If after one week your payment status has not updated, please get in contact with the Festivals Programme Co-ordinator: Festivals@salters.co.uk; 020 7628 5962 ext.223

Festivals of Chemistry (AGES 11-13)

Entry is restricted to students from:

  • England and Wales: Years 7 and/or 8
  • Scotland: Years P7 and/or S1
  • Northern Ireland: Years 8 and/or 9
  • Republic of Ireland: Primary 6 and/or Secondary Year 1 in the Republic of Ireland

One team of four students accompanied by a teacher, unless otherwise informed.

No, because it is a competition this would give an unfair advantage.

No, all the activities are targeted at the age group taking part.

Schools generally arrive for 9.30am and the day finishes around 3.00pm. This may vary slightly from venue to venue and you will be able to see the individual details for your Festival on our website once you have been offered a place and been given login details to access your ‘Festivals Account’.

The main focus of the morning is “The Salters’ Challenge”, which is common to all the Festivals. This is a competitive, practical activity, for which no advance preparation is required. After a break for lunch the students tackle “The University Challenge”, which is a practical investigation chosen by the University. This is usually followed by a “fun” lecture or “pops and bangs” demonstration. The day ends with a short prizegiving at which the winning schools receive prizes and all participants receive fun prizes and certificates.

Sample Programme

09.30 – 10.00 : Arrival
10.00 – 10.15 : Welcome
10.15 – 12.00 : The Salters’ Challenge – Lab activity 1
12.00 – 12.45 : Lunch
12.45 – 14.00 : The University Challenge – Lab activity 2
14.00 – 14.45 : Chemical Lecture / Demonstration
14.45 – 15.00 : Announcement of winners and presentation of prizes 

A separate teacher programme will be arranged during the day. In cases where a full programme has not been organised, you may be given some free time so please plan accordingly; a room/lecture theatre will be reserved for teachers to use during this time.

Students must come appropriately dressed for working in a laboratory. Preferably school uniform should be worn and long hair tied back. Students should not wear:

  • Shorts
  • Short skirts
  • Open toed shoes
  • Bare midriffs
  • Uncovered legs or shoulders

Students are asked to bring their own pens. Where possible, it would be useful for students to bring safety glasses and lab coats, due to some host universities/ colleges having a limited supply. Students will also require a packed lunch (unless otherwise stated on the ‘Festival Information Sheet’). 

Refreshments will be available throughout the day, however the host university/college will not provide lunch (unless otherwise specified). 

Schools should bring packed lunches for both students and teachers and a space will be provided for you to eat.

Some, but not all universities/colleges have parking available. Please refer to the Festival Information Sheet on your online account for specific details.

Please note that photographs will be taken at Festivals. These maybe reproduced in local newspapers, on the university/ college website and in Salters’ publicity material. 

Please obtain parental permission for all students to be photographed. If parents are not willing to give their permission, it is the responsibility of the teacher to make it known that the student is not to be included in any photographs that are taken.

Festivals of Chemistry (AGES 13-14)

Entry is restricted to four students from:

  • England and Wales: Year 9
  • Scotland: S2

Please note: Students will not be working in teams and will be split into pairs to work with their peers from other schools and a university student.

No, this day is completely separate to the Festivals of Chemistry (AGES 11-13) programme and do not need to have attended a Festival before.

Schools are to arrive for 9.00am and the day finishes at around 4.00pm. 

Full details about the logistics of your particular Festival can be found on the ‘Festival Information Sheet’ on your Festivals Account (once offered a place).

The focus for the day is a non-competitive extended practical investigation, which uses chemistry techniques that are new to Year 9/S2 students and encourage team working and independent problem solving skills. Students from each school will be split into pairs and work with their peers from other schools. Each group will have a dedicated university student for the duration of the Festival, offering support in the lab and sharing their experiences of university and plans beyond.

As well as improving their laboratory practical skills, students will gain a greater understanding of university life and the career options available with a science degree.

SAMPLE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME:

  • 09:00 – 09:15 Schools Arrive 
  • 09:15 – 09:45 Introductions and welcome 
  • 09:45 – 12:00 Practical investigation part 1
  • 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch/ tour of university facilities 
  • 13:00 – 14:30 Practical investigation part 2 
  • 14:30 – 14:45 Final presentation 
  • 14:45 – 15:45 Partner led STEM session
  • 15:45 – 16:00 Departure

No, all the activities are targeted at the age group taking part.

At some Festivals teachers will have the opportunity to complete a practical investigation in the laboratory during the morning. If the host venue is unable to accommodate this, teachers will have space to complete necessary marking or networking.

Please note: Where possible WiFi will be provided, but please check the ‘Festival Information Sheet’ which will confirm if it is available at your specific Festival. 

No, this day unlike our other Festival programme is non-competitive.

Students are asked to bring their own pens. Where possible, it would be useful for students to bring safety glasses and lab coats, due to some host universities/ colleges having a limited supply. Students will also require a packed lunch (unless otherwise stated on the ‘Festival Information Sheet’). 

Students must come appropriately dressed. We recommend that students do not wear school uniform where possible. Long hair should be tied back. Students should not wear:

  • Shorts
  • Short skirts
  • Open toed shoes
  • Ripped jeans
  • Bare midriffs
  • Uncovered legs or shoulders

Refreshments will be available throughout the day, however the host university/college will not provide lunch (unless otherwise specified). 

Schools should bring packed lunches for both students and teachers and a space will be provided for you to eat.

Some, but not all universities/colleges have parking available. Please refer to the Festival Information Sheet on your online account for specific details.

Please note that photographs will be taken at Festivals. These maybe reproduced in local newspapers, on the university/ college website and in Salters’ publicity material. 

Please obtain parental permission for all students to be photographed. If parents are not willing to give their permission, it is the responsibility of the teacher to make it known that the student is not to be included in any photographs that are taken.

Festivals of Chemistry Partners

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