Chemists do reactions and make things. Our laboratory classes introduce students to practical chemistry in a modern, well-equipped university laboratory environment. Students carry out chemical synthesis and investigations, or can use the department's cutting edge analytical technology such as IR, NMR spectroscopy and gas chromatography.
|Laboratory classes: Years 7-13||
A number of experiments are available, some syllabus linked, but all designed to interest and encourage students in their chemistry studies.
Sessions we run:
Preparation of paracetamol
Preparation of aspirin
Isolation of eugenol - In this practical workshop students will be able to enhance their practical lab skills and learn the techniques used to isolate a natural product which is used in the synthesis of perfumes and flavourings. Students will learn how to use a rotary evaporator, selectively extract a substance from a solid mixture using a solvent and use distillation as a common technique for obtaining aromatic compounds from plants to avoid decomposition of the material. The Chemistry Smells activity can also be included in the session.
Isolation of trimyristin from nutmeg
Who murdered Mrs Smith?
Bath bombs and slime
|Spectroscopy workshops: A Level students||
To help students understand spectroscopic analytical techniques better, the Department of Chemistry runs a half day spectroscopic workshop for schools and colleges.
These visits take place on Wednesday afternoons and run throughout the academic year. Students can be set the task of identifying three "unknown" compounds, or analysis of your own samples can be done using:
Starting with an overview of the various techniques, students are split into groups and move round, running their unknown sample whilst being taught about each spectroscopic technique by a specialist.
|Primary school workshops: Years 2-6||
We have a selection of fun chemistry workshops that can be delivered at your Primary School. All of these are free, and we bring everything we need including lab coats, glasses and chemicals for all of the children. The experiments currently on offer are Bath Bombs and Preparing Polymer Slime.
|Spectroscopy in a Suitcase||
The Spectroscopy in a Suitcase initiative allows students to learn about spectroscopy and get hands-on experience in their own classroom. The activities cover the principles of spectroscopic techniques and help show real-life applications, and is ideal for GCSE and A Level students.
The project was created by the Royal Society of Chemistry as part of their programme to promote chemistry in further education. The suitcase includes a UV-Vis spectrometer and an IR spectrometer, and comes with a full teachers resource pack including instructions, spectra and samples for both techniques and also includes some mass-spectrometer data to provide a comprehensive spectroscopic experience.
Too book the suitcase, visit our booking page:
Teachers may be interested in the SpectraSchool website. It contains many online spectra which could be used to assist Spectroscopy in a Suitcase sessions, as well as independently aid teaching, learning and revision. There is also an 'Identify' quiz function which gives some spectroscopic data for an "unknown" compound, and asks the user to work out which compound the spectra represent.