Students Experience Real World Chemistry
Article Created on Thursday, 19 January 2012
Year 9 students at Treviglas Community College recently learned that chemistry isn’t just for people in lab coats during a fun-filled day of science experiments and demonstrations.
The students took part in a “Chemistry at Work” day which showed them different ways that chemistry is used in the real world. Presenters from different industries led the students through a variety of practical activities which ran the gamut from cooking to training with local fire fighters.
Treviglas science staff organised the event with the Royal Society of Chemistry, and saw students shuffling from one exciting demo to the next.
The day included sessions from UNICEF as well as Newquay Zoo, with the latter getting the students to handle giant snails and extract sap from trees to be used as food for some of the zoo’s resident primates.
Chefs from Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant taught the budding cooks of the bunch the importance of careful measuring, mixing and timing in food preparation. The students were able to later have a go at making their own dessert pastries.
Firefighters from the Newquay Fire Service gave insight into how chemistry plays a vital role in their jobs by kitting the students out in hazmat suits and leading them through a mock hazardous chemical clean-up. The students also got the chance to sit in the fire engine and receive a crash course on how to operate the controls.
Astronomers from Roseland Observatory; representatives from recycling company SITA, and marine biologist Kim Pearce also gave presentations on how chemistry is essential to their fields.
Science Teacher Jayne Owen, who helped organise the event, said that learning days such as this are a useful way of expanding science learning beyond the classroom.
“These sessions demonstrate how the chemistry which our students are learning about in school is used by a variety of people in their work,” she said. “The students certainly learn a lot and get to have a bit of fun too.”
For more information about Chemistry at Work school days, visit the Royal Society of Chemistry’s website.