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Spectroscopy sensation

Date Posted: 11/09/2017 | Posted In: Latest news

A Level Chemistry students from QE enjoyed a visit to Northumbria University to participate in its annual Spectroscopy Day. The day began with an introductory presentation on the concept of spectroscopy delivered by a member of the university’s academic staff. Students were then able to complete practical experiments using advanced equipment and chemicals. These included making an ester with an unknown alcohol and then having to use infrared spectroscopy to identity the alcohol, in addition to getting to grips with various purifying and distillation techniques. Students were also introduced to new analytical techniques, such as thin-layer chromatograph, often used in synthetic chemistry.

Student, Oliver Excell, who aspires to study Biochemistry at university, comments: ‘I found the day extremely enjoyable and interesting to work in a university laboratory and using more sophisticated methods and equipment, such as the mass spectrometer. The experience has definitely furthered my desire to study Biochemistry at university and to work in a professional laboratory full-time’.

Julia Magnall, Chemistry teacher at QE, adds: ‘As teachers, we find that the Spectroscopy Day is an ideal opportunity for students to develop their employability skills as they have to communicate with the staff at Northumbria University, listen to instructions carefully and follow the precautions identified by risk assessments. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of being in a university laboratory with new equipment and techniques to master, and their practical skills developed nicely’.