Hands-on Science Learning as On-site Classes Resume

Friday, February 4, 2022

This week saw the return of onsite learning at Assumption College English Program for secondary school students. This allowed the science department to get students doing some, sorely missed, investigative learning. The Year 10 Chemistry students were doing some analytical chemistry where they do various tests to find out the identity of an unknown compound. This included performing flame tests, precipitation reactions and testing for some gasses. The students found the subtle nuances seen with these reactions which demand careful critical thinking in order to interpret these test. This is something that can’t be conveyed in a text book.

Organic chemistry was on the menu for the year 11 chemistry group. They used molecular model kits to build Carboxylic acid and alcohol structures to model the esterification reactions being explored in this part of the curriculum. This gives a more deeply involved experience of what happens at the molecular level. They then went on to make some esters which involved the use of concentrated sulphuric acid. This is a substance that needs very careful handling and one to one supervision so safety protocols can be monitored are essential. This is superb experience for our students and is preparing them for advanced laboratories they may encounter at university and in industry.

Teachers and Students alike enjoy the, real life, science only available from laboratory work, so we are all hoping the current situation can continue to improve and onsite learning will become the normal experience is should be.

Written by Mr Michael Lams