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Tuesday 2 June was a primary perfume day at Marling, organised by Marling Chemistry department and run by Mr T Harrison, from Bristol University, with funding from the local branch of the RSC and Marling PTA.  

30 Year 5 primary students from 5 local primary schools were involved. The outcome that we can’t easily portray in this report, is the resultant smell in Mr Nivens chemistry lab; like a ‘LUSH’ store or the perfume/cosmetics section of a department store i.e more like Stroud High School than Marling!

Thank you not just to Tim and his team and the funding organisations, but also to the Y9 “Science Ambassadors” who took on the responsibility of meeting and greeting the visiting students at the start of what was a successful day.

Mr Tim Harrison introduced the day with a talk about our sense of smell and pefumes, this involved some amazing demonstrations of Chemistry – (and Physics) in the Sixth Form Lecture Theatre.    

“ …I really enjoyed it when the man did some dangerous experiments (like putting a balloon in liquid nitrogen - I found that bit the best!)” 

“  ….I also enjoyed listening to Tim, the Professor of Science, showing us all how to create explosive bangs and mix chemicals” 

“... The talk was cool because of all the chemicals changing colour.” 

“…and the demonstrations were awesome! I really liked the fact that I saw things I had never seen before” 

Following a short refreshment break the students then had the opportunity to do some ‘hands on’ learning in the Marling labs.

They produced a range of different perfumes themselves using a variety of different essential oils, selecting from a choice of formulations and using various items of equipment to make precise measurements.  

“I also really liked making the perfume and I would love to go to Marling so I can do more of this”

“My favourite part of the day was making the perfume…,”

“My favourite part of the day was when we made our very own perfume.”

There was also a modelling activity, learning about the organic molecules that make up the perfumes, constructing some of the chemicals involved, so they could see some of the similarities and differences and learn a bit about the elements involved.

“Thank you so much for having me at your school. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and I think it was a great way to introduce young students to secondary school science.” 

“…….. The only thing I would say is that it would be even better if we were able to do more experiments!”

“……….I thought the science day was amazing……., it was so fun. I loved it all; it was a great experience for me. Also the dinners were delicious part of the day. Thank you for having me.” 

“…… I learnt a lot in only a few hours. “

Judith Cave, Teacher of Chemistry


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