The International Year of Chemistry and forests were celebrated at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
On the 22nd and 23rd of October the International Year of Chemistry and forests were celebrated at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with a joint event which highlighted the chemistry of autumn leaves.
In the Real Life Science Studio, at the John Hope Gateway there were lots of exciting hands on activities for all the family. The self-inflating balloons (dry ice pellets added to IYC balloons) proved to be a real highlight. Children took part in leaf hunts in the gardens and used microscopes to look at the autumn leaves that were collected. Artwork activities included making beautiful sun-print leaf pictures and contributing to a big cellulose picture that grew over the weekend.
The technique of chromatography, which can be used to separate out the leaf pigments, was shown with a simple but very colourful activity using felt tip pens and filter paper. Leaf pigments were shown in 3D movies and the huge variety of products that come from trees was illustrated in an interactive exhibition.
For more details on any of the activities please contact Jenny Rodgers, RSC Regional Coordinator, Scotland.
The event was supported by the Edinburgh Beltane (a Beacon for Public Engagement), the School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, the Centre for Wood Science and Technology, Edinburgh Napier University, the Forestry Commission's Forest Research and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
See how to perform this experiment to separate the pigments in a leaf