Chemistry Is For Everyone – A Co-Created Website Showcasing the Work of First Year Undergraduate Chemistry Students

Rawe, Sarah (2021) Chemistry Is For Everyone – A Co-Created Website Showcasing the Work of First Year Undergraduate Chemistry Students.


Positive attitudes and feelings towards chemistry have been shown to correlate with student per sistence and performance[1-3]. Students who enthusiastically join the chemistry community when they enter Higher Education will understand and value its knowledge and practices. To do so, they should have the confidence to participate in its scientific discourse, which could include discussions with their peers and academic staff, but – as in this case – also includes communicating their subject knowledge with a wider, non-scientific audience. Nothing has demonstrated the importance of good science communication skills more powerfully than the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim of this project was to provide an opportunity for first year undergraduate chemistry students to develop and demonstrate their skills as effective chemistry communicators. Originally planned as a face-to-face outreach event supported by the RSC Outreach Fund [4] in which students would present chemistry topics to a lay audience of family and friends, the event was redesigned to develop the Chemistry Is For Everyone [5] website. Undergraduate students not only created the content for this showcase, but also played a key role in developing the website itself, with two students working alongside the website developer.

Chemistry Is For Everyone is a website that currently hosts 30 unique exhibits in the form of posters, infographics, games and art work on a range of chemistry themes. Produced by 44 first year students, each exhibit is inspired by their reading of a popular science book. Alongside the exhibits themselves, the meaning or purpose and science are explained by the students in their own words. A short survey carried out after examinations had only 30 % response rate but was overwhelmingly positive. The website received more than 1200 views over “launch week” including interactions from as far afield as Canada and Bangladesh, and represents a legacy on which to build.

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