My chemical romance

8th December 2006 at 00:00
Who went? Peter Larkham, a chemistry teacher at Aylesbury Grammar School in Buckinghamshire.

What was it? A three-day visit to Budapest for chemistry teachers, with visits to local industries to see science in action. It was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Why go? I had been on two of these trips before, to Dublin and Frankfurt, and thoroughly enjoyed them. The visits are heavily subsidised, making them fantastic value.

Message, motto or mantra? Science moves on all the time and teachers need to keep up-to-date.

Handouts or hands-on? Every day we visited a different industry, but there was also time for sightseeing. Our visit coincided with celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Hungary's 1956 uprising and political demonstrations against the Government. It was lively to say the least.

Something I liked? Visiting a Russian-designed nuclear power station was fascinating. We got to see almost every aspect of the production process, though they locked our cameras away first.

Something I learned? Science is truly an international language, and scientists everywhere are working for the advancement of mankind.

Has it made a difference? It gives me something to romanticise with my classes, beyond what's in the textbook. When I'm teaching about nuclear power, for example, I can see it all in my mind's eye and that helps me bring it to life.

The verdict? Excellent professional development and a truly memorable experience


For news of forthcoming tours and other RSC events visit www.rsc.orgeducationteachers INSET Tours cost pounds 250 and are half price for RSC members

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