Making contact with industry

The best sources of help for your Salters’ Chemistry Club are probably going to be those companies which employ numbers of chemists or chemical engineers. These companies may have sufficient staff to consider releasing employees to help with school projects and will certainly wish to promote chemistry as a career.

You may find that the very large companies have well developed school-link schemes but that their resources are concentrated in schools close to their sites. If you are not within their catchment area then smaller, more local companies might be willing to help.

Don't forget, however, that chemistry graduates can be found in a wide range of careers outside the mainstream chemical and pharmaceutical industries. If your school is a long way from any company involved in chemical research and development consider contacting other places where chemists are employed e.g. hospitals, water companies and food manufacturers.

Experience shows that contacts with industry are likely to be more successful if there is an existing entry through a parent or governor.

The Chemical Industry Education Centre (CIEC) produces information on forming links with industry (see page 3–4 for address). Further information about industrial contacts can also be obtained from the professional bodies and information services listed under ‘Helpful organisations’ (page 3–4).

When you register as a Salters’ Chemistry Club, the Club may be able to suggest an industrial contact in your area. Please contact the Administrator of the Salters’ Chemistry Club at Salters’ Hall. The details are on page 1–9.

When writing to an industrial organisation try to identify a named individual. Otherwise address your letter to The Education Liaison Officer.

A suitable letter could read as below (you can highlight this text and copy it into a word processor if you like).

Sample Approach Letter

XXXX School Salters’ Chemistry Club

We are writing to ask if you would be prepared to contribute to the success of a new initiative to promote chemistry in this school, the formation of a Salters’ Chemistry Club.

The Club will provide opportunities for our pupils to enjoy practical, bench-top chemistry outside normal lesson times and we intend to enter a team in the regional Salters’ Festival of Chemistry which will take place at ............................................................................

It would be helpful to have support and encouragement from a local company/organisation/institution. It would be very useful, for example, if one or more of your staff were available to come into school and tell us about the work of your company. This would encourage our pupils to improve their skills and promote an awareness of the importance of chemistry.

However we would be very grateful for any help you can give us, for instance financial support or the gift of chemicals or equipment. If you would like further information on what your possible involvement might entail, please contact .....(Teacher’s name and contact numbers - ensure that you can be easily contacted at any telephone number quoted).

If I may, I will telephone you next week to follow up this letter.

We hope you will be able to support our Salters’ Chemistry Club and look forward to hearing from you.

For further information on The Salters' Institute's Activities, including Salters' Festivals of Chemistry and Salters' Chemistry Camps, please view the web site at

Copyright Salters' Chemistry Club 2005
Copyright is waived for teachers wishing to print parts of this handbook for educational purposes.