40 Sixth Formers planned and conducted experiments designed to look at the rate of chemical reactions. The experiments which were conducted over three days, yielded huge amounts of data which the students will analyse and collate into a report for their A2 coursework.
Head of Science Mr Knight said: ‘At the end of last term they were given a long list of suggested experiments. They have to research their own methods and do trial runs at the beginning of this term. They have done their own risk assessments, made up their own solutions and now they are collecting data.’
Some of the students made iodine clocks where they measure the rate of reaction when they add different chemicals or change the concentration of their solutions.
Emily King said: ‘You change the concentration and the reaction happens faster and it changes colour. From that you are able to work out the rate of the reaction and the concentrations and you can work out the rate constant. It is really good fun, it is nice to work independently. It is just making sure that you are working really methodically.’
Chloe Archer said: ‘I am making aspirin using two different catalysts and a method using a microwave. I will test the purity of all of the samples and compare them against a shop-bought aspirin tablet.’
Mr Knight added: ‘These experiments are a culmination of the practical skills that the students have developed through Year 12. Now they are working safely and independently and overcoming any problems that they may encounter. I have to thank the science technicians who have done a fantastic job in sourcing the equipment and supporting the Sixth Formers in this project.’