Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

Inspire your students and bring your analytical chemistry teaching to life with a free hands-on spectroscopy workshop in your classroom.

Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) is an interactive education experience, designed to support and complement your classroom teaching. That’s why we bring the workshops to you.

Coronavirus update

Not accepting bookings until after the summer holiday

In light of developments with the coronavirus (Covid-19), and after considering the potential risks, we have decided not to accept new bookings until after the summer holiday in readiness for the 2020/2021 school year. If the situation changes, we will update this page with the latest information.

We believe that this is the right course of action given the number of people our workshops interact with across a diverse range of locations. The health and wellbeing of schoolchildren, teachers and outreach specialists is our number one priority, along with a collective effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Contact us for queries: sias@rsc.org

More information about Coronavirus and RSC Education events.

Students in a science lesson

Source: © Getty Images

Our 35 SIAS provider partners travel to classrooms across the UK and Ireland to give students:

  • a chance to engage with fundamental techniques of analytical chemistry
  • hands-on demonstration of UV-visible, infrared and NMR spectroscopy
  • insights into research and industrial applications of these techniques
  • opportunities to hear about further study in chemistry-related career options

What happens during a SIAS visit?

Our SIAS ambassadors will start by introducing your students to the principles of spectroscopy. They’ll then move from theory to practice by revealing fascinating, real-life applications – giving students a go at using IR and UV/vis instruments and (in some regions) NMR devices for themselves.

The interactive style of our workshops helps many students imagine what a career in chemistry might actually look like for them. We use this opportunity to encourage further study by showing them the range of important, inspiring and unusual occupational options a qualification in chemistry could lead to.

A typical SIAS workshop setup showing UV-visible and infrared spectrometers
Image courtesy of University College Cork

What have other schools said about SIAS?

“Fantastic hands on experience for students and revision of theory”

“The session was pitched at the right level. All pupils were engaged and stretched”

“This makes teaching instrumental methods to A-level students much more accessible”

Who is SIAS for?


Our workshops are primarily aimed at 16–19-year-olds* studying chemistry as part of:

  • Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
  • England, Northern Ireland and Wales AS/A-levels or BTEC
  • Senior cycle, leaving certificate and transition year in Ireland

*Our workshops can also be adapted upon request for younger students, Further Education and other chemistry-related courses, your provider will let you know if this is available in your region.


Our workshops can help you to:

  • Strengthen your knowledge and confidence in your ability to teach this subject
  • Enrich your teaching even after the workshop by using our resources on common analytical techniques and their applications
  • Meet representatives from your local university and build valuable relationships with them

How much does a SIAS visit cost?

There is no charge to schools for a Spectroscopy in a Suitcase visit.

How do I arrange a visit?

  • Make sure you're a member of Teach Chemistry, our free school support service – this is essential for arranging an SIAS visit. If you don’t yet have one, it’s easy to create a Teach Chemistry account now.
  • Request a visit using our online SIAS booking form at least two months before your preferred date. NB before making a request, do check the full requirements in the terms and conditions on the booking form.
  • Ensure your students reap the full benefits of a SIAS workshop by requesting multiple sessions for classes larger than 25.
  • Build up your student’s knowledge of spectroscopy prior to the workshop using these spectroscopy teaching resources.

Spectroscopy in a Suitcase resources

Use these resources to find out more about SIAS, teach spectroscopy in your classroom.

Electromagnetic wave


Explore the principles and practice of spectroscopy and other analytical methods

IR spectrometer

Spectroscopy videos

Watch this collection of chemistry education videos from the Royal Society of Chemistry on a range of spectroscopic techniques included on the “Modern Instrumental Techniques for schools and colleges” DVD.


Spectroscopy in your classroom - portable analysis

2013-05-01T00:00:00+01:00By Tracy McGhie

Tracy McGhie explains how your students can solve a murder mystery using state-of-the-art equipment

Science Foundation Ireland logo

SIAS is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover programme grant.