Otley Molecule Trail runs from 23rd October to 9th November
Do you expect to find caffeine when you stop for a coffee, linalool lurking by the soap or theobromine when you pop in for a chocolate bar? These are the chemical compounds responsible for a lot of the tastes, smells and colours of everyday life; for the next few weeks you will be able to find models of the molecules responsible in 15 shops and businesses all over Otley. These chemical clues form the Otley Molecule Trail, a scientific treasure hunt with prizes organised as part of the Tenth Otley Science Festival.
We are asking you to search the shops of Otley for models of these and other organic molecules – and you could win a Molymod molecular modeling kit of your very own!
The Molecule Trail runs from 23 October to 9 November and you can pick up a trail leaflet from Otley Courthouse, Otley Library and the CORE or download the Molecule Trail leaflet here. All you need to do is write down where you find each of the 15 molecules shown in the leaflet, hand in your answers at the Courthouse by 6pm on Thursday 9 November, then see if we draw your name at 11am at the Science Fair at Otley Courthouse on Saturday 11 November.
Here’s a sample of what you are looking for:
The molecules in the Trail are all important ingredients of everyday life, the sort of thing you pick up with the shopping: vitamin C, carbohydrates, or scents, tastes and colours. The Molymod models are not very big – you could easily hold them in your hands – but they are more than a hundred million times bigger than the actual molecules. But with the colour-coded models, you can see how these everyday compounds are made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and a few other elements.
“When you track down the Molymod models,” says organiser Hazel Costello of Otley Courthouse, “you might find that they are in shops selling products using the actual molecules themselves – but I’m not giving out any more clues! You’ll have to check out the amazing range of Otley shops for yourself.”
Three winning entries will be drawn during the free Otley Science Fair at the Courthouse on Saturday 11 November. Winners will receive Spiring Enterprises Molymod kits kindly donated by Philip Spiring. The kits – used to make the molecules for the Molecule Trail – have everything you need to make model molecules from aspirin to theobromine and more. Check out their website at www.molymod.com
Many thanks to Spiring Enterprises Ltd and Keele University School of Chemical and Physical Sciences for supporting us in putting on the Molecule Trail