Students explore the everyday application of chemistry

Students explore the everyday application of chemistry

Miss Jamie Gallagher, Head of Chemistry

Chemistry is applicable to our everyday life and students in Year 11 planning on taking chemistry at A Level have spent time as part of their Brave New Wold remote learning programme finding out more.

Year 11 students started by completing some complex problem solving. Alongside their studies they expanded their research skills and reported on a wide range of current issues, choosing their own independent research topic to explore.

LouLou described some of the skills she gained during the process: ‘when conducting my research, I learnt the importance of comparing information from different sources’.

The students presented to the class remotely answering questions from peers and teachers. The range and quality of the presentations was outstanding. We saw a wide range of topics from the chemistry of coffee, cosmetic chemistry, chemical warfare, processes for cleaning sewage and creating vaccines to why an alkaline diet could reduce cancers.

Emily’s research project, ‘What is cancer and what is being done to help?’, looked into cell mutations in the body, and why older people have an accumulation of cell damage that can build up over time. She discussed current treatments and looked at developing new drugs to teach the immune system to prevent cancer.

Agnes explored artificial intelligence in chemistry. She explained its ever-increasing use and its ability to help surgeons and scientists perform tasks at a faster rate whilst also improving accuracy. She also discussed some of the drawbacks to this technology, such as ethical issues, costs, and safety issues.

Overall prizes were awarded to Anthea and Faith for their projects ‘What is awake craniotomy?’ and ‘The history, process and future of sewage treatment’.

The students finished the term with a final lesson debating some of the most fundamental issues facing the world of chemistry today. Our Year 11 young chemists will use their knowledge and greater understanding to discuss the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemical sectors.