2M STEM programme shows 100 students how Chemistry is used in Crime scene investigations

Encouraging young people to access a career in Chemistry is a key part of the 2M-STEM programme, set up in 2015 by 2M Holdings.

At the end of July, Jim Bell, Dispersions Development Manager and Specialty Chemicals Account Manager at Banner Chemicals, a 2M subsidiary, changed from Chemist to teacher for the day, as part of the ‘Chemistry at Work’ initiative at the Catalyst Museum.

Jim introducing pupils to the phenomenon of Chemiluminescence.

Demonstrating real life, exciting applications of chemistry to nearly 100 students in classes of 15, Jim showed year 8 and year 9 (12-14 year olds) the kind of impact chemistry can have.

“Every year I present to the young budding scientists, I see a renewed and continued interest in the chemical industry” said Jim.

Jim introduced the students to the phenomenon of Chemiluminescence (the emission of light as a result of a chemical reaction).

He started with the basic chemistry involved with a military grade safety light stick, and provided all students with “party style” glow sticks to activate.

This was further demonstrated by reacting the individual chemicals in situ so that the students could see the reaction develop before their very eyes.

After an interesting discussion they moved on to a more important application where the same chemistry is used in Crime Scene Investigation to detect latent blood stains where the iron in human blood acts as the catalyst at levels as low as one: one million, and showed that blood could also be detected after attempts were made to clean the crime scene. This technology could all be related to the ‘CSI television programme’ which the students were familiar with.

Mottie Kessler, Chairman and CEO of 2M Holdings said:
“I am proud the 2M-STEM programme continues to support local schools, in conjunction with the Catalyst Museum. The UK Chemical Industry is world leading, but its success depends on our development and support of the next generation of scientists.”

The Catalyst museum have been organizing these business outreach days for many years now, “to ensure the UK science sector in the UK continues to evolve and the next generation of scientists have the skills that both they and business require to be successful in the future.”

2M Holdings is proud to be involved for the third year running.

Jim with pupils at ‘Chemistry at Work’ event.