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Sir Humphry Davy lecture

Rose Hill hosted 19th Sir Humphry Davy Lecture:
‘The Chemistry of Explosives and the role of the Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL)’
Rose Hill pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 plus nearly 100 other pupils from local state and independent schools were afforded a glimpse into the world of explosive forensics courtesy of Gemma Kyle from the Forensic Explosive Laboratory (FEL) last month. This secretive branch of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) is based at a maximum security facility near Sevenoaks.
Gemma Kyle started her presentation with a collection of video clips of various types of explosives and their subsequent explosions. This certainly got the audience’s attention and helped put into context what was to come. The pupils were shown the difference between primary and secondary explosives, discussion of their compositions and also how they can be detected.
Many areas of the chemistry syllabus were discussed and the pupils could clearly see how what they do in the school laboratory is used by the FEL to help determine the source material when an explosive event has occurred.
The Sir Humphry Davy lectures take place each year and are open to local schools. Head of Science at Rose Hill, Richard Mansfield, believes that science lectures and workshops have a huge impact on children’s learning. He says: “I really want to see the children get excited about science. It’s such a great subject and can be so interesting and fun.”

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