The St Paul’s Chemistry Enrichment Programme

The St Paul’s Chemistry Programme - By Elizabeth Gibb, 12Y

During March, four Year 12 Chemistry students, had the exciting opportunity to take part in a Chemistry programme that consisted of four, Saturday morning sessions at the prestigious St Paul’s boys school in Hammersmith. I really enjoyed this programme, the aim of which was to enable us to carry out undergraduate level organic synthesis practicals. From carrying out the purification of cholesterol, to copper coupling reactions, I thoroughly enjoyed the wide range of practical techniques I learned. Through this course I was not only able to improve my practical skills, but also got to use equipment that we don’t get to use at Twyford (being able to use and see how an Infrared spectroscopy machine worked was a definite highlight). I’m very grateful for the opportunity, and would definitely say it has made me have much greater appreciation for organic Chemistry!

The St Paul’s Chemistry Programme - By Sumaya Hassan, 12F2

Experimentation is the essence of learning science. Learning science without practical work is like learning literature without reading books. That is why when I heard about the St Paul’s Year 12 Chemistry Enrichment Programme I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.This enrichment programme gave those that took part an opportunity to undertake substantial, undergraduate-level organic synthesis.

It was a 4 week long programme: in which we covered Reduction of carbonyl compounds, the Witting’s reaction, the Aldol reaction, purification of cholesterol and the mechanism of alkene bromination.It was an opportunity to get hands on with equipment and chemicals, as well as learning sophisticated practical techniques and organic reactions. Practical science activities have huge significance in the learning process. As they are engaging, allowing you to gain important skills while also developing a broader understanding of scientific concepts.

I truly believe this experience is invaluable for those considering chemistry or other related degrees. St Paul’s offers a vast array of sophisticated laboratory facilitates and expert teaching so I strongly recommend that if you have the opportunity to you should definitely take part in it next year.



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