Delight in Learning
Two Senior Aloysian chemists welcomed the unique opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art science facilities at the University of St Andrews when they attended the Scottish Council of Independent School’s Chemistry Masterclass.
Thanks to their dedication to the subject , Paul Graham and Jennifer Docherty of S5 were selected by Head of Chemistry, Mr Anderson, to represent St Aloysius’ College at the SCIS Chemistry Masterclass held at the University of St Andrews.
Both S5 pupils are studying Higher Chemistry at the College and welcomed the opportunity to explore St Andrews’ facilities and gain practical insight into much of the theory of their current Higher, and future Advanced Higher, Chemistry courses.
With access to the university’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy machines, the Aloysians carried out organic synthesis of the pharmaceutical drug, paracetamol, causing successful reactions between chemicals and purifying the resulting compound.
Reflecting on the experiment, Paul Graham of S5, who has ambitions to study Computational Chemistry at Oxford University, said,
“It showed us how an organic chemical can be made in the lab and backed up some of what we’ve learnt in Higher but also gave us insight into the kind of stuff we’ll do in Advanced Higher.
I have a lot of interest in chemistry and I like finding out what makes up the world we live in.”
Jennifer Docherty of S5, who would like to go on to do Medicine at Glasgow University, was thrilled to take part in the event and learn from those who have studied Organic Chemistry at University, saying to her fellow Aloysians at Senior School Assembly,
“It was great to be able to use all the equipment at St Andrews, and to meet other people and gain a new insight into the life of a professional organic chemist.”