During the half term break, Megan, Itohan and I took part in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools Analyst competition, where we had the opportunity to work in an undergraduate laboratory at Queen Mary University, London.
On the day we were given a booklet of tasks and information, including techniques and apparatus we had never come across before, and were told we had four hours to complete the series of experiments and analyse our results. As a team we had to plan how we were going to share the tasks between us and manage our time as efficiently as possible. I particularly enjoyed getting the chance to carry out infra-red spectroscopy as it was something I had only read about before. We had to pick up the new concepts quickly and apply our analytical skills to identify the unknown organic compounds.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable and valuable experience; even though we didn’t win, we learnt a lot about working together in a time-pressured environment, and got a taste of what university life would be like as a chemistry undergraduate.
Shannon, Year 12