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! Prizes are awarded to the winning teams and all students receive participation certificates and fun prizes.

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 Magic Demonstration
14.45 – 15.00 : Announcement of winners and presentation of prizes 

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.

Any students enthusiastic about Chemistry are welcome! Schools use many methods to select students to attend – examples being 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.

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


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

You will receive an automated message within about a minute to say that your entry has been received (if you don’t then it means your entry hasn’t been received, which means it may not have been completed correctly).  Please try again!

When we start to allocate Festival places, 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.)

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 or your school will be able to pay via PayPal on our website, 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.

Confirming Your Place

Click on ‘Activate Account’ in the top right hand corner of the Festivals homepage and enter the Username and Password issued to you in your offer email and select ‘Activate Account’.

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 ‘Activate Account’ 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, click on ‘Festivals Login’ (in the top right hand corner of the Festivals homepage) and again enter the Username and Password issued to you and click on ‘Login’.

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

Please ensure that you 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. 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’s-Cache
  • Try opening your account using a different Internet browser such as Google Chrome. To download Google Chrome, click here

If you continue to have problems logging in to your Festivals Account, please contact the Programme Co-ordinator on or 020 7628 5962 Ext. 224

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

The Festival Day

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.

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 own ‘Festivals Account’.

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

No, schools should bring packed lunches unless informed otherwise.

Some, but not all universities have parking available. Please refer to the information relating to your Festival on our website for specific details.

Year 9/S2 Festivals

The focus for the day is an extended practical investigation, which shall use chemistry techniques which would be new to Year 9/S2 students and encourage team working and independent problem solving skills. Interaction with University students is intended to give students an insight into working in a University lab and allow them to ask questions about University life in general.

This Festival costs £30. Payment can be made via BACS, Paypal or Cheque and all of these details can be found on the invoice which will be located in your Festivals account.

This day unlike the other Festivals means you are entering students, and not a team. However the number is still remaining at 4 students.

No, this day is completely separate to the original programme and students do not need to have attended a Festival before.

Yes, entry to both types of Festivals is allowed as long as the correct year groups of students is adhered to for both types of Festivals.

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

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

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

Festivals of Chemistry Partners

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