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STEM@Leeds Team

Educational Engagement
University of Leeds
18 Blenheim Terrace

0113 343 7495

Welcome to STEM@Leeds!

We’re all about inspiring young people to engage with STEM subjects through summer schools, workshops, events and the Leeds Festival of Science, plus a lot more!

Visit our subject pages to learn more about what’s on offer from STEM@Leeds Outreach Team at the University of Leeds.

Got a question? Visit our frequently asked questions page to find the answer or get in touch.

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Events Calendar

7:00 pm Solar Geometry to Date Certain A... @ University of Leeds, Michael Sadler Building, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre
Solar Geometry to Date Certain A... @ University of Leeds, Michael Sadler Building, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre
Oct 26 @ 7:00 pm
Free IOP talk Prof John Thornes, from the University of Birmingham Free tea, coffee and biscuits from 6:30pm. To what extent can we use works of landscape art as proxy data for what the environment was actually like at the time of painting? Artists like Monet and Constable can be trusted if care is taken to understand what the artist was trying to achieve. Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows was first exhibited in 1831 at the Royal Academy by John Constable. The depicted rainbow is totally out of place considering the solar geometry of the scene. Art historians have suggested that perhaps the rainbow was added just before the painting was exhibited – to symbolise hope, as the storm threatening the Cathedral, and by implication the Church of England, was nearly over. However solar geometry tells a different story. The depicted rainbow rests on John Fisher’s house – the house of his best friend where Constable had often stayed. Careful examination of the rainbow shows that it represents a full rainbow which would have been possible on the afternoon of the 25th August 1832 the day when John Fisher unexpectedly died. It is now clear that when the painting was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1831 it did not contain a rainbow. Indeed none of the many critics describing the picture mention a rainbow. Constable therefore added the rainbow sometime after his best friend had died as a remarkable tribute to him. It is impossible to know exactly when Constable added the rainbow but it is likely to be early in 1834 before he exhibited the painting in Birmingham in September 1834. In July 1834 he wrote to a friend: I have done wonders with my great Salisbury – I have been preparing it for [exhibition[...]
5:30 pm Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics @ University of Leeds
Bolton Lecture in Astrophysics @ University of Leeds
Nov 8 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Interstellar snowflakes: The beginnings of complex life? The space between the stars, the interstellar medium, is full of clouds of dust and gas which are the formation sites of the next generation of stars. These cold star-forming clouds shine with light from molecules that we can observe with radio telescopes. These molecules are critical for the birth of new stars and the planetary systems that will eventually form in their surroundings. How do these molecules form and survive in the harsh environment of space? And what role do they play in star and planet formation and the beginnings of complex life on ‘life-friendly’ planets? We will explore chemistry in the extreme environment of space, and discuss the importance and influence of interstellar molecules in shaping and seeding forming planetary systems. Due to the popularity of this lecture, we ask that anyone interested in the event books their seat.
2:00 pm Analysis and Spectroscopy Workshop @ University of Leeds
Analysis and Spectroscopy Workshop @ University of Leeds
Nov 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
In this workshop, Y12 chemistry A level students work in groups to identify a common painkiller using melting point, thin layer chromatography and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the IR and NMR spectra. Other techniques may be covered on request.
8:00 pm Sculpting Light to the Atom-Scal... @ University of Leeds
Sculpting Light to the Atom-Scal... @ University of Leeds
Nov 29 @ 8:00 pm – 12:44 pm
Professor Jeremy Baumberg University of Cambridge Sculpting Light to the Atom-Scale or: How Nanoscience can Enable the Intelligent Toilet Matter can interact with light to give us superfast internet connections, or allow us to see the protein workings of our cells. But we don’t really understand the limit to this because it is only now that it is becoming possible to reliably build and assemble structures on the nanoscale that sculpt light more exquisitely. In this talk, I will show how such nano-photonics is capable of squeezing light smaller than single molecular bonds so we can watch them directly. This opens up the use of chemistry to make springy machinery that enables colour-changing wallpapers, or its use for biosensing of molecules to tell you about your body’s health on a day-by-day basis.