Royal Society of Chemistry Funding

As we return to a more normal state across the country, UCell has been working hard to secure more school visits and events for the upcoming year. We are very grateful to announce that supporting us this year will be the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) through their Outreach Fund, which aims to provide support for chemistry-based outreach, giving us at UCell more opportunities to go to schools and public engagement events. UCell’s three core objectives are to engage younger students in science and engineering, educate the wider public on future energy storage and generation technologies, and provide a platform for early ­career researchers to communicate scientific concepts and ideas to a variety of audiences. Simple but high­ quality practical demonstrations, such as small hydrogen fuel cell cars, are used as an engaging basis on which to educate younger audiences on basic scientific concepts pertaining to energy storage. Using the grant from RSC we can build on previous years by updating the demonstration kits and fuel cell stack to give a better experience to the people we engage with and the UCell facilitators. 

UCell’s aims are to engage younger students in STEM subjects, educate the public on renewable energy technologies, and provide a means for member students gain experience and skills in science communication outside of traditional university tutorials. Over the course of the next year, we’re aiming to increase our engagement with younger audiences, particularly under 18s. During the previous, nonepidemic disrupted year we gathered feedback from 109 audience members, of whom approximately 35% were under 18. This year we’re aiming to increase this to 40% to ensure we’re reaching our key target audience. We’ve also set a goal of a minimum of 200 audience responses during the 2021/2022 calendar, to increase our reach while also gathering as much feedback as possible that can be used to improve future events. 

We have several key events lined up in the 2021/2022 calendar. The next upcoming event is the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which runs from 31st October to 12th November 2021. We plan to be present throughout the conference to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell and battery systems, showing how key future energy technologies function, as well as to contribute to discussion about the renewable energy landscape. UCell has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Green Man Festival in South Wales. We plan to be present in August 2022 to power Einstein’s Garden with our 3kW fuel cell stack. We also expect to attend many science festivals throughout the next year. School visits form the core of UCell’s outreach programme, and we run several virtual and in-person sessions throughout the year. School visits are arranged on an ad-­hoc basis so specific dates can vary, many of these sessions are likely to take place as summer schools during May to August 2022. 

At UCell we’d like to thank the RSC for their generosity, and we look forward to putting the grant to good use.