Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

Just after half term, WGS Lower Sixth Form Chemists attended a workshop entitled Spectroscopy in a Suitcase, delivered in School by visiting postgraduate students from the University of Manchester, in association with Royal Society of Chemistry.

For the Lower Sixth

The morning involved first learning about the history and structure of paracetamol, and then using some new equipment and techniques to make some ourselves! We then used various techniques to analyse the purity of our sample, such as Infrared Spectroscopy and Thin Layer Chromatography. We really enjoyed seeing the specification brought to life, by learning about the real life applications of some of the analytical techniques we cover as part of the A Level, through some hands-on experience that we would not otherwise have been able to do in school. We also found it very interesting to find out more about the potential careers that are linked to studying Chemistry by talking to the students from the University of Manchester who helped us with the practical work.

by Zainab S, Lower Sixth

For the Upper Sixth

In February, the Chemistry Department and Sixth Form chemists had the pleasure of welcoming students from the University of Manchester who are a part of the Royal Society of Chemistry Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme. This is an outreach activity, which gives Sixth Form chemists the opportunity to learn about spectroscopy through a hands-on experience. As well as covering the principles, the activities use real-life contexts to demonstrate the applications of the techniques.

During the session, we were able to practise identifying compounds using a small range of data provided to us, such as infrared and NMR spectrums. We also then had the opportunity to observe a real-life infrared and NMR machine to allow us to see the applicability and practicalities of what we are studying at A Level. This was an extremely valuable experience that has helped to enhance our understanding of the topic through lots of practice, and this has most certainly helped us to perfect our exam technique.

by Imaan N, Katie M & Roya F, Upper Sixth