Our Subject Ambassador, Ed from Year 12, is sharing his science knowledge with Year 9 Science students.



As part of the recently launched Subject Ambassador Programme, Year 12 chemist Ed Gordon-Thomson last week introduced a group of budding Year 9 scientists to some Year 11 concepts. 

“The first concept being explored is ‘Rates of Chemical Reactions’ – basically, how can humans increase or decrease speed of a chemical reaction,” said Nick Street, Head of Chemistry. “As various factors are tested over the preceding weeks, discussion will centre around where this concept is used on an everyday basis, both in the home and industrially, as well as the economic and environmental issues regarding the chemical industry today.” 

The inaugural Friday afternoon session on the 10th June involved determining the effect of temperature on the rate of reaction. With experiments held in the semi-dark, the students were surprised to find out that a glowstick consists of a ‘tube within a tube’, keeping two liquids separate from each other until the glowstick is activated. “Appreciating that the two liquids must mix and interact with each other for the reaction to occur lead students to the understanding of the collision theory of particles and the question – what can humans do to cause more collisions between the reacting chemicals per second?” said Nick. 



As can be seen in the photograph, the students used a beaker of boiling water and a beaker of ice water to determine the effect of temperature on the brightness of the glowstick and from their observations formed their conclusions regarding temperature and the rate of chemical reaction. 

The students suggested other factors that could possibly affect the rate of chemical reaction…so, this week they will be putting ‘concentration’ to the test. 

Thank you Ed and Nick for the fantastic new academic enrichment session. Well done to everyone involved!



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