RSC Discover LabSkills

The Discover LabSkills Project was launched in January 2009 through collaboration of the RSC / Pfizer education programme, Discover Chemistry, with the University of Bristol and Learning Science Ltd.

The aim of the project was to improve access to the LabSkills Dynamic Lab Manual (DLM) to allow teachers and student to develop and improve their practical laboratory skills.

Over 1700 copies of the resource were distributed to PGCE chemistry trainee teachers between January 2009 and July 2010.

An evaluation looking at the impact the software had on trainee teachers, highlighted increased confidence in demonstrating practical science; increased confidence in running practical sessions with students; and increased skills in running practical sessions with students after using the software.

This evaluation formed the basis of the national roll-out, funded by the TDA, which will allow all UK state secondary schools to gain access to this innovative teaching resource.

Contact us if you need help or support using LabSkills.

University teacher training centres involved:

Bath-Spa University
Brunel University
Canterbury Christ Church University
Goldsmiths, University of London
Institute of Education, University of London
Keele University
King's College London
Kingston University
Liverpool Hope University
Loughborough University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Newcastle University
Nottingham Trent University
Oxford Brookes University
Queens University Belfast
Roehampton University

Swansea Metropolitan University
The Open University
University College Plymouth St Mark & St John
University of Bath
University of Bedfordshire
University of Birmingham
University of Brighton
University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
University of Chester
University of Chichester
University of Cumbria
University of Dundee
University of East Anglia
University of Edinburgh
University of Exeter
University of Glasgow
University of Hertfordshire

University of Huddersfield
University of Leicester
University of Plymouth
University of Reading
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University of Strathclyde
University of Sussex
University of Wales, Aberystwyth
University of Wales, Bangor
University of Warwick
University of York


"As a scientific experimenter, it can be fun to just 'try it and see'. With this software, I was able to 'blow up the lab' quite safely, learning how to avoid the same mistakes in reality! Practical scientific skills are so useful in many areas, and are vital to the chemists of the future. As a former teacher myself, I know LabSkills will add an extremely valuable new dimension to the study of chemistry by helping to reinforce the importance of scientific rigour and of health and safety, while being informative and engaging."

Former Tomorrow's World presenter Kate Bellingham,
National STEM Careers Co-ordinator

"LabSkills could revolutionise the way practical chemistry is approached in schools. By encouraging students to prepare for their experimental work, it will help them to view practical chemistry as something much more than a recipe-following exercise. Through enhanced independence they will be better equipped to meet the future needs of industry. Positive experiences in practical chemistry at school are key in influencing the paths of many would-be scientists. This is an opportunity that we must harness."

Dr Tony Wood, Vice President & Worldwide Head of Medicinal Chemistry,
Pfizer Global R&D