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The University of Leicester’s Department of Chemistry will be hosting an outreach event on Thursday 1 June, designed to encourage academic achievement in children of Bangladeshi heritage.

The event will take place between 2pm-4pm at the University of Leicester.

Photo Credit: University of Leicester

Children aged between 11-15 years old from the Darus Salam Mosque in Leicester will be invited to attend a day of activities, led by Dr Kal Karim and Dr Barbara Villa Macros from the University of Leicester and Moj Bashir, Chairman of Darus Salam Mosque.

The event will consist of a stimulating mix of chemistry-based laboratory activities with a hands-on element, along with quizzes, lectures and demonstration experiments, all designed to engage with pupils of all abilities in the hope of inspiring them to go into higher education.

Dr Karim, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, said: “Located in the inner city area of Highfields the local area has the usual inner city challenges made more challenging in Bangladeshi families where usually one of the parents is from overseas and may sometimes have had a limited education.

“Children from these backgrounds, although intelligent, usually don’t think of staying in any form of education let alone a University education.

“In order for these students to overcome some of the historical and social barriers that the Bangladeshi communities face, they would benefit from some educational inspiration and support from someone from their background to act as a role model.”

Dr Karim, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, met with Moj Bashir, Chair of the Management Committee of the Darus Salam Trust, at The British Muslim Awards in January. The awards celebrate the successes, achievements and contribution of Muslims to British society.

Dr Karim won this year’s award for Services to Science and Engineering and this achievement in conjunction with the work that the Darus Salam Trust does in the community for children has acted as a fantastic opportunity for the Department of Chemistry and the wider University to engage with the local Bangladeshi community.

The Department of Chemistry, and the wider University, is already highly committed to working with school and colleges to support widening participation and access to higher education.

Dr Barbara Villa Marcos, Outreach Manager in the Department of Chemistry, added: “We are keen to engage with pupils of all ages, ethnicities, background and abilities and offer many outreach activities throughout the school year targeted at different year groups. These activities are delivered through a mix of University-based events and activities delivered within the schools.”

Shaf Islam, Managing Director, Chutney Ivy, Leicester has kindly volunteered to provide Iftar packs for all children and staff involved as the event will take place in the month of Ramadan.

More information about the Department of Chemistry’s Outreach programme is available at:


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