All of the students are studying the 3 separate sciences at school, so staff and students wanted to give them the experience of completing some challenging practicals in our purpose built labs. Our visitors were supported throughout by A-level Chemistry students so there was someone on hand to help them at all times.
Their first challenge was an investigation to see the effect of light on photosynthesis. This was done by trapping algae in alginate to make algal beads. The amount of carbon dioxide can be detected using hydrogen carbonate indicator. High levels of carbon dioxide suggest that very little photosynthesis was taking place and low levels suggest lots of photosynthesis is taking place.
Students then moved on to determine the concentration of a solution of hydrochloric acid using titration. This is a tricky procedure which is essential in analytical Chemistry. The year 9s (with a little help from our students).
Head of Chemistry Leah Walker explained, “in the second exercise the students produced some excellent results with lots of them managing to achieve concordant results (within 0.1 ml of each other) something even our A-level students struggle with! Both pupils and Chemistry students had a really enjoyable day working together!”
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