07-11 December 2009: The Third Annual National University of Singapore-Bristol ChemLabS Chemistry Winter Workshops, Singapore NUS Bristol sign

A team from Bristol ChemLabS was once again working with their counterparts in Chemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to provide chemistry outreach opportunities for students in Singapore. The 160 students involved came from a variety of schools from across Singapore, or were home study students, and were organised by Professor Gaik-Khuan Chuah at NUS.

Thirty students aged 11- 12 years spent a day in the teaching laboratories working alongside Bristol and NUS postgraduate and postdoctoral students. They investigated the iodine clock reaction, analysed the sugar content of fizzy drinks, and looked at the properties of a thermoplastic. After the practical workshop was completed the students experienced the lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ given by Tim Harrison.

The second of the workshops was a two-day event for 44 students aged 13 & 14. These students also investigated the iodine clock experiment and the preparation of benzoic acid from sodium benzoate. The students’ analytical studies then turned to the copper concentration in redundant Singaporean one cent pieces. Day two experiments involved the extraction of caffeine from different samples of tea and the use of thin layer chromatography for drug identification. The talks given during the workshops were 'Chemistry in Extreme Environments' by Preeti Kaur and 'The Use of Computers in Drug Design' by Katie Shaw. The fragrance chemistry lecture ‘Chemistry that gets right up your nose’ and the lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant's Tale’ were both given by Tim Harrison.

The last of the two-day workshops was for 85 15-17 year olds and was split between two teaching laboratories. The introductory workshop involved the B-Z oscillating clock reaction and the use of thin layer chromatography followed by a very full afternoon involving the depolymerisation of the plastic PET and the preparation of paracetamol. The first day finished with a talk on the ‘Chemistry of Fragrances’. Day two saw an extended morning lab session where the students made the diazo dyestuff called ‘Orange II’ and the ester ‘Oil of Winter Green’. The last afternoon was a mini conference with talks presented by Preeti Kaur on 'Chemistry in Extreme Environments' and 'The Use of Computers in Drug Design' by Katie Shaw. The lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant's Tale’ concluded the 2009 workshop series.

Details of the 2008 workshops can be found here.

Details of the 2007 workshops can be found here.

More details and photos on all the workshops can be found here on the NUS website.

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