Public engagement

WACL seeks to engage with the public to provide teaching, learning and general information on atmospheric chemistry research.

One of the main exhibits is an aircraft cabin mock up from the FAAM ( research aircraft, where members of the public can sit in the "aircraft". They can hear audio from a real science flight through the aircraft headset and view video footage out of the aircraft windows, which include flying at 50ft and 30,000ft! This is generally exhibited at science festivals and exhibitions.

Empowering Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller Communities to Monitor Air Quality: WACL researchers are engaging with Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, (commonly referred to as GRT) and Showmen groups across Yorkshire in increase awareness of health risks associated with exposure to poor air quality. We are providing educational materials and portable PM2.5 sensors, funded through an RSC outreach grant, to empower families to monitor PM2.5 pollutant levels where they live.  This is particularly important for GRT communities disproportionately affected by environmental health risks as little air quality monitoring information is currently available in areas where they live. We would love for as many communities as possible to be involved! If you want to hear more about the project or volunteer to be one of our GRT citizen scientists, please contact Katherine (

We encourage all staff and students to become STEM Ambassadors and are interested in working with schools to promote STEM subjects using engaging activities.

For more information on any of our public engagements events, please contact or our Outreach Officers, Dr Ruth Purvis ( and Dr Sarah Moller (

Examples of our outreach work

  • The Air We Share
  • British Science Fringe Festival
  • National Science Week Discovery Days at the National Railway Museum 
  • Yornight
  • Summer school for Y8 secondary school children on air pollution and sensors
  • Clean Air Day

Kitchen sink science experiments

  • Cloud in a bottle
  • Flying teabag
  • Cool chromatography

Contact us

Jenny Hudson-Bell
WACL Research Administrator
+44 (0)1904 322609
Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York  YO10 5DD, United Kingdom.