Double-Click Chemistry

Impact: Educational Impact (Beyond St Andrews)

Description of impact

This project is intended to impact on public understanding of chemistry and its relevance to society. We also hope to increase the general public’s interest and enjoyment of science by introducing chemical concepts in a entertaining and accessible manner.

Synthetic chemists are interested in converting simple building blocks into new materials such as drugs that fight disease. Many of the techniques used in chemistry often mirror those used in cooking; we heat things up, we cool things down, we add one thing to another with stirring etc. These simple techniques, combined with specialist know-how, allow chemists to produce new materials that find widespread use in society. Some of these techniques are quite ingenious and allow very reactive chemicals to be used safely. This project will involve developing two distinct educational tools that introduce practical chemistry techniques in a fun and accessible manner.

Who is affected

This project aims to impact upon educational practices and how chemistry is taught at school and college level.
We believe this project will:
· Use new technologies to improve student engagement with a challenging STEM subject, especially pupils who do not engage with classical teaching methods (lectures or watching demonstrations)
· Expose pupils to chemical techniques that would typically not be accessible at school or college level.
· Promote learning outside the classroom by providing a simple way for teachers to introduce “flipped-classroom” practices.


Project 1 – Chemistry Mobile Game: We will produce a “chemistry cooking” game for touch screen devices (mobile phones and tablets) that allows pupils to carry out a variety of reactions and gain familiarity with practical techniques used in synthetic chemistry. Complex procedures will be divided into simple steps allowing students to learn new techniques in a structured manner. A key benefit is that pupils can be exposed to reactions and techniques that would not be possible to carry out in a school environment due to financial or safety restrictions.

Project 2 – The Virtual-Reality Laboratory: We will also develop several virtual-reality experiments that can be used at public-engagement events. Volunteers will don a headset and conduct several experiments. The virtual-reality laboratory will be projected on to a screen allowing an audience to follow the users progress. This approach will again allow members of the public to experience chemical reactions that would not otherwise be possible for health and safety reasons.
Impact statusClosed
Impact date1 Oct 20171 Jul 2019
Category of impactEducational Impact (Beyond St Andrews)