Chemistry taster day

Join this taster day and use organic chemistry to synthesise the active ingredient as well as characterise your finished product using a variety of advanced analytical techniques.

Chemistry class

Be a chemistry student for the day: synthesising and analysing aspirin

Aspirin is one of the most widely sold medicines in history, used to treat pain and even prevent heart attacks. This taster day at the University of Sheffield gives A Level chemists an opportunity to see what it's like to study chemistry at University.

In the morning you'll be working in the chemistry lab, undertaking practical work to synthesise aspirin. You'll be working with one of our staff members and some of our current students, using equipment and facilities not usually available in schools and colleges. You'll prepare your own aspirin sample using a number of key chemistry techniques including reflux synthesis using quick fit apparatus, separation by vacuum filtration and recrystallisation to purify your product.

After lunch you'll work with some of our dedicated analytical services staff members to characterise your aspirin samples, using infrared (IR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Following this there will be a chance for you to find out what being a science student at the University of Sheffield is like in a Q&A session with some of our current undergraduate students.

Closed-toe shoes and trousers must be worn in the lab. Safety glasses, lab coats and gloves will be provided by the University.

When: Wednesday 31st May 2023, 9.30am - 4.15pm

Age Group: Year 12 and Year 13

Suitable for: Predicted A Level - B in Chemistry or BTEC - DDD in science including specific Chemistry units


Please note that this is an approximate schedule and is therefore subject to change.

Time Activity
9.30am Arrive
9.45am Welcome and Introduction
10.15am Aspirin synthesis organic lab
13.00pm Lunch
14.00pm Analytical workshops
15.30pm Being a science student Q&A
16.15pm Depart       

Book now

Please note that applications for this taster day close on Wednesday 10th May 2023.

Contact us

For informal enquiries please email

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