Dr Peter Hoare
Chemistry Outreach Officer

Background

I am a former secondary school Chemistry teacher with 20 years experience. I was on secondment to the School of Chemistry for the 2008-09 academic year as a School Teacher Fellow, funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Chemistry for Our Future" (CFOF) project to look at both the transition from A-level to undergraduate study and outreach to promote Chemistry as a subject and a career to students in local schools and colleges.

Roles and Responsibilities

The main aims of the Chemistry Outreach Officer are to:

1. develop and deliver high quality Outreach activities to local and regional schools and colleges which promote the study of Chemistry both as an academic discipline and as a subject for further study at University.

2. support local and regional teachers in their delivery of Chemistry, especially with reference to practical work and current applications of exam specification Chemistry to the real world.

3. raise awareness amongst teachers, students and their parents of what it is like to study chemistry at university, the benefits of higher education and the career options available to chemical science graduates.

4. To develop regular and sustainable links between the School of Chemistry and Chemistry teachers in local and regional schools and colleges.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Chemistry, Durham University, 1984.
PhD Organic Chemistry, Durham University, 1989 - thesis title "Chemistry of Halogenated Triazines and Related Systems" Supervisors Prof. R.D. Chambers and Dr. (now Prof.) M.R. Bryce.
PGCE (Chemistry & PE/Games), Newcastle University, 1989. 

Previous Positions

RSC School Teacher Fellow, seconded to the School of Chemistry, Newcastle University, 2008 - 2009.
Chemistry Teacher at Ponteland Community High School, Northumberland, 1989 - 2009.

Memberships

Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC).
Caravan Club.
British Rowing - Hexham Rowing Club.
National Trust.
Durham Wildlife Trust.

Informal Interests

heavily involved in the administration of the sport of Rowing in the North-East:
Founder and coach of Ponteland High School Rowing Club in 1990 (disbanded by the school in July 2009).
Chairman, British Rowing Northern Regional Umpires Committee (since 2006). Licenced rowing umpire since 1994 and recently (2013) successfully completed multi-lane umpire qualification.
Secretary, Hexham Regatta since 1998 (now one of the largest one day regattas in the UK).

Undergraduate Teaching

None with current undergraduates - but I continue to support several academic colleagues in the use of the Turning Point electronic voting system across various undergraduate and taught postgraduate chemistry modules.

I also run one of the Chemistry academic sessions for the PARTNERS assessed summer school.

I do supervise final year MChem student projects (see my Research tab for more details), which involve either developing new outreach experiments or new and innovative teaching and learning resources. 

Research Interests

I developed a fledgling interest in e-learning methodologies during my RSC School Teacher Fellowship year, especially the use of Electronic Voting Systems (EVS) for both formative and summative feedback and also for efficient data collection and analysis from student surveys and questionnaires.

I am also interested in developing innovative teaching and learning resources with external collaborators, especially using web-based molecular viewing resources and molecular modelling kits.

I am also keen to explore the potential use of screen-capture software, e.g. Camtasia, to produce teaching and/or revision video clips to support the utilisation of our learning resources.

Current Work

I am currently engaged in a collaborative project with Dr Susan Henderson from the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) to develop specific teaching and/or learning and/or self-study activities suitable for both post-16 and/or early years UK undergraduate chemistry students (or equivalents) using their WebCSD platform for both outreach and teaching. Initial activities were developed in summer 2011 by Hollie Staward, a local 6th form student, as part of a 4 week Nuffield Bursary project. Further activities were developed in summer 2012 by Mumena Ali, Gabriel Bramley and Emma Burnett, three further Nuffield Bursary students and Kate Leary, an MChem graduate working as a Chemistry Outreach Intern. Trialling of these resources, development of further resources and a robust evaluation were carried out by Steven Carman, my MChem project student in the previous 2012-13 academic year. The final resources are all available online here: www.ncl.ac.uk/chemistry/outreach/ccdc and new trial resources can be found here: www.ncl.ac.uk/chemistry/outreach/trial. Further resources will be developed and trialled by Leticia Prince, one of my MChem project students for the current 2013-14 academic year.

I have also recently initiated a collaboration with Dr Gary Battle (formerly of the CCDC) at the Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe) to develop teaching and learning activities along similar lines to the CCDC project with proteins - examples might include basic structure, examples of protein-ligand docking and its application to drug design, etc. These activities will be developed by my other MChem project student, Lucy Jakubecz, in this current 2013-14 academic year. I have also recently established contact with Prof Marcel Jaspars at Aberdeen University who developed the TangleProteins Building Kit with Tangle Toys in the USA and we hope to collaborate with Prof Jaspars and his project student to develop activities which make use of the TangleProteins kits to visually illustrate key concepts in protein structure and function.

I am also involved in a consortium including the School of Life Sciences at Northumbria University, The Centre for Life and Tyne and Wear Museums to develop an historic "Chemistry Trail" around Newcastle city centre and eventually at other locations across the region. The Trail was originally developed for the 2012 National Science and Engineering Week. Few are aware that Tyneside was the centre of the UK chemical industry until the early 1900's and that several well-known household products originated here, including Fairy soap, Lucozade, Domestos and Andrew's Liver Salts. We are currently in negotiations with the City Council to develop a mini-trail around one of the local wards. The trail is designed to operate using display signs in strategic locations with QR (Quick Response) codes which can be scanned by mobile devices such as smart phones or iPads, etc and link to a website giving information about each chemical, including any local or historic connections. The website may be accessed here: www.newcastlechemistrytrail.org.uk.

I co-ordinated an internal teaching and learning project within the School of Chemistry, funded by the University's UTLC Innovation Fund, to trial and evaluate the use of the Turning Point electronic voting system handsets by several academic colleagues in undergraduate chemistry teaching across various modules in the 2010-11 academic year. In 2011-12 one of my stage 4 MChem students, Helen Herdman, conducted a similar project with chemistry classes in a local secondary school, the results of which were submitted for publication in late 2012.

I was also a member of the JISC-funded HEA UK Physical Sciences Centre-led "Skills for Scientists" Open Educational Resources (OER) pilot project consortium (2009-10) which researched into the processes and issues involved with making teaching resources available via the internet and other open access sources, including JISC's own Jorum Open website. You can view the project Wiki and download the resources here: skillsforscientists.pbworks.com

Future Research

I hope to develop some pedagogic chemistry education research projects in any of the above areas in collaboration with local schools and other academics during the tenure of this post.

Postgraduate Supervision 

Miss LKA Jakubecz; MChem stage 4 project student 2013-14; project title "Developing and Evaluating Learning Resources Using the Protein Databank in Europe".

Miss LB Prince; MChem stage 4 project student 2013-14; project title "Developing and Evaluating Undergraduate Teaching and/or Outreach Resources Using the Cambridge Structural Database".

SN Carman; MChem stage 4 project student 2012-13; project title "Developing and Evaluating Teaching and Learning Resources for Chemistry Using the WebCSD Online Crystallographic Database".

Miss HM Herdman; MChem stage 4 project student 2011-12; project title "Enhancing Teaching and Learning in School Chemistry Classes using Electronic Voting Systems".

Miss HM Ogley; MChem stage 4 project student 2011-12; project title "Enhancing the Outreach Experience; Further Synthetic Routes to Fruit Flavouring Esters".

Miss RP Moore; MChem stage 4 project student 2010-11; project title "Enhancing the Outreach Experience; Exploring Synthetic Routes to Fruit Flavouring Esters".

Funding

JISC HEA UK Physical Sciences Centre "Skills for Scientists" OER project - £8000 - April 2010.
UTLC Innovation Fund - £5000 - investigating the use of Turning Point in undergraduate chemistry teaching - April 2010.