Limits to CHaOS

We are a volunteer organisation and all of our demonstrators and organisers are unpaid volunteers with full-time degree courses (or jobs). This limits the number of events that we can run during the year, and unfortunately we are not able to visit all of the schools who show an interest. We aim to respond to all requests for visits within a fortnight. Our decisions on where to visit are based on several factors, including the following:

  • Time of year: CHaOS can only visit schools outside of university term time. We usually visit Cambridgeshire schools in early December, and schools in other parts of the country in late June or July. We run a large event ("Crash, Bang, Squelch!") during the Cambridge Science Festival, so we don't have the volunteer capacity to visit schools during March.
  • Other nearby venues: For trips outside of the Cambridge area, we are usually only able to visit an area if we find several schools (or other venues) that are interested.
  • Type of school: CHaOS only visits state schools. A large proportion of requests that we receive come from schools that have specialist science status or similar schemes in place. While we are delighted to visit such schools, we do make active efforts to try to visit schools where the 'in-house' science provision is less well-developed.
  • Geographic location: Some areas (eg Cambridge, London, Manchester) already have a fair few science related things going on. An advantage of being a roadshow is that we're able to take our experiments to schools where visits to science museums etc. are more difficult.
  • Pot luck: Unfortunately, we can't always make a fair decision on where to go, so just have to make an arbitrary choice. Sorry.

We recognise that child protection and health and safety are important issues for schools. All of our experiments are thoroughly risk assessed (copies available on request), with the risk assessments being checked annually by the University of Cambridge safety office. Our activities are fully insured, under the University's public liability insurance. We endeavour to ensure that our demonstrators are covered by up-to-date enhanced DBS disclosures.

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