The scent of success:
IRIS recognised at
the Education Awards
Greener Fragrances, a project run by IRIS and Queen’s University Belfast, was announced as a finalist for the Best Education Outreach Award at the Education Awards last month.
The Education Awards recognise, encourage and celebrate excellence in the third-level education sector in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Whilst we missed out on the top spot, it was a massive achievement to be recognised by the Education Awards, especially as the project has only been running for two years.
Our Head of Engagement, Katy Glazer, said: “It’s great to be recognised among other great programmes by the Education Awards. The passionate team behind the project have given hundreds of students in Northern Ireland the chance to experience the excitement of chemistry and understand the real-world applications of ionic liquids a specialised area of chemistry.
“This opportunity has inspired some young people to study the subject in university, but for many others, it has enhanced their understanding of chemistry and come to grips with concepts they found daunting.”
We want to inspire young people from all backgrounds and show them how interesting and exciting chemistry can be
Greener Fragrances is a project developed by Gosia Swadzba-Kwasny, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast and Director of the Quill Research Centre, the oldest and most established centre dedicated to studying ionic liquids.
The project is a spin-off of existing IRIS project, Ionic Liquids which explores these interesting chemicals, their real-world applications and how to synthesise them safely. Greener Fragrances looks at how these specialist chemicals could revolutionise the industrial process, by making the manufacturing of scents for personal care products and food flavourings more environmentally sustainable.
Gosia created the project to provide young people with a different perspective on what chemistry can achieve. From the fashion industry to the energy sector, Greener Fragrances shows students that chemistry plays a massive part of our daily lives and can potentially lessen our environmental impact.
Gosia said about the project: “We want to inspire young people from all backgrounds and show them how interesting and exciting chemistry can be when applied to real-life problems. Equally, we want them to see that they can be part of it all,” she said.
“Through this project, students gained hands-on research experience, which allowed them to utilise reactions studied at A-level. They also developed practical skills and gained insight into the research profession.”
Camryn, a pupil at Limavady Grammar School, said: “Instead of just reading from a book, I had the chance to figure out what works and doesn’t, so the learning stuck with me.”
Greener Fragrances has inspired young people to want to learn what’s possible to achieve when you combine curiosity, creativity and chemistry!
Our director, Jo Foster, said of the achievement “IRIS and the amazing team at Queen’s University have worked tirelessly to put the project together and it has truly paid off. Greener Fragrances has inspired young people to learn what’s possible to achieve when you combine curiosity, creativity and chemistry!”
Young people have the power to change the world, not just when they grow up but now, if they’re given the opportunities. You can learn more about the project below and you can join IRIS by clicking the join button at the top of the page.
An introduction to Greener Fragrances