On Thursday a group of 14 Year 9 students, who are studying Triple Science (Separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSE’s), attended a “Chemistry at Work” day accompanied by Mr Minns, one of their teachers.
The event took place at Salisbury College. It was organised and funded jointly, by STEM (Wilts and Dorset) and The Royal Society of Chemistry, and was attended by a large number of other local schools. Its aim was to engage, and enthuse, students about Chemistry and the possible careers available to follow should a student choose to study Chemistry at GCSE and beyond.
The day began with a demonstration, to all the students in the hall, by a member of staff from Bristol University, on the gases in the atmosphere. Students were stunned as Bananas frozen in liquid Nitrogen were smashed like porcelain and beakers of chemicals, containing indicator, bubbled and “smoked” just as they do in the best films, as frozen Carbon dioxide was dropped into them.
During the rest of the day students were divided up into smaller, mixed school, groups and followed a rota of a sequence of short seminars/practical sessions on topics as diverse as:
- Designing and Making soap led by Bournemouth University and very informative good clean fun.
- Chemicals from Crude Oil which exploded some myths about petrol, and gave students a burning desire to pursue their learning on this topic further. This was led by a member of staff from Exxon’s Fawley Refinery.
- Discovering how Wessex water find out what is making your tap water smelly!
Talking to the student’s later it was obvious that they had really appreciated the opportunity to attend this event and they were a credit to themselves and to the school. Everyone, students and staff, learnt a great deal and would recommend attending such events in the future.
Many thanks to the staff who put in considerable time and effort to make this possible for the students, namely Mrs James together with Mrs Welfare and Mrs Scott, and of course to STEM Net and The Royal Society of Chemistry