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UoN School of Chemistry Attracts American Fan Girl

The group of University of Nottingham (UoN) chemists that produce the popular videos known as the Periodic Table of Videos have been visited by a seven-year-old fan from the United States.

Adele Rouse travelled from her hometown of Winston-Salem in North Carolina with her parents to visit the School of Chemistry and the team behind the videos that have become a YouTube sensation since they were launched six years ago.

The Periodic Table of Videos team produce videos about each chemical element on the periodic table as well as other chemistry facts and experiments.

“This is the equivalent for her of getting to meet all the princesses at Disneyworld”

Adele’s mum Kathryn Rouse, called her daughter “a little knowledge sponge” who “loves learning all the chemistry facts”.

She added: “Adele was just four years old when she started watching the Periodic Table of Videos on YouTube and she enjoys watching them over and over.”

“Getting to meet the team behind the videos is such a big deal for Adele — it’s really the equivalent for her of getting to meet all the princesses at Disneyworld.”

“I figured the best thing I could do for women in STEM was to encourage Adele’s interest in chemistry”

The idea for the Periodic Table of Videos came from video journalist Brady Haran and began in 2008, with UoN’s Professor Martyn Poliakoff fronting the famous series.

In the six years since its launch, the channel has gained more than 430,000 subscribers and has had a total of more than 61 million views.

The team has travelled all over the world, visiting places such as basecamp at Mount Everest and Sydney’s Bondi beach, to show its audience every element on the periodic table, even the rarest.

Adele became fascinated by the videos after her mother used them as part of her home school pre-school programme.

Kathryn revealed that when Adele learned the family were visiting the UK, she was desperate to visit Nottingham and the School of Chemistry team, many of whom she recognised from the film clips when everyone was introduced.

Adele chatted to some of the personalities featured in the video, and was shown a demonstration of her favourite experiment – mixing water and potassium to give an explosive result. She was also presented with her own white laboratory coat.

“Knowing that the videos which we are making are helping to switch kids like Adele on to this amazing subject gives us a real buzz and makes it all worthwhile”

Kathryn said: “I figured the best thing I could do for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) was to encourage Adele’s interest in chemistry by emailing Professor Poliakoff and asking whether she could visit Nottingham to meet the team behind her favourite videos.”

Speaking before the event, Dr Samantha Tang, a Public Awareness Scientist in the School of Chemistry and part of the Periodic Table of Videos team, said: “Meeting Adele, our youngest ever fan to visit us, will be a massive privilege for us.

“Chemistry is by its very nature both fascinating and exciting and knowing that the videos which we are making are helping to switch kids like Adele on to this amazing subject gives us a real buzz and makes it all worthwhile.”

Adele is not the first international visitor the team have had – in 2012 10-year-old Edoardo Bandieri from Modena in Italy met Professor Poliakoff and the team, and the School of Chemistry have opened their doors to other visits from groups of young followers on several occasions.

Beth Rowland 

Image: Brenton Edwards (Adelaide Advertiser)

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