6 March 2009

Chemistry in the Community

A group of 5th year Chemistry students from Synge St. CBS visited the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at DIT Kevin St on the afternoon of March 6th as part of a Students Learning With Communities project. Demonstrations and presentations were provided for them by second year students from the DT 261 (Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences) course

The Synge St. students were shown analytical chemistry instrumentation that is described in their textbooks being used and learned more about the underlying theory. They also found out about the research projects at DIT that employ this equipment such as analysis of shellfish for naturally occurring toxins that cause food-poisoning, of samples from waterways for pollutants and of debris from fires for evidence of arson.

DIT students then gave a short presentation on studying Science at third level. The session finished with an interactive quiz using individual “clicker” remote control units to register answers followed by a demonstration of the “Screaming Jelly Baby” experiment, a vivid way of showing how much energy is produced when sugar is oxidized.

The students from Synge St CBS were accompanied by their teacher, Mr Joe Nicholl, and the visit was organised by Dr Claire Mc Donnell with the help of several other academic and technical staff from the School. The Head of the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Declan Mc Cormack, welcomed the students and encouraged them to consider continuing to third level courses in Science because of the range of opportunities and career paths available. A pilot online discussion group was also used over the month before the visit to DIT to allow students from Synge St to ask the DIT students questions on three Chemistry topics suggested by their teacher.

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