Chemistry Clinic - Autumn 2020

The Chemistry Clinic is a student led consultancy in the University of Strathclyde. Working with entrepreneurs with brand new ideas right through to supporting school students, they deal with a wide range of enquiries.

This placement opportunity during their Chemistry degree gives students the chance to implement the knowledge they have gathered so far during their three years of studying and fine-tune their practical laboratory skills. They also have the chance to grow on a personal basis in various forms of communication and organisation skills that are tested throughout the year.

The team also partake in various school events and tasks both within the University of Strathclyde and around the country - as STEM Ambassadors - to further the development of the scientific world.

The Chemistry Clinic provide an update on their projects, studies and outreach activities.

Introduction

Hi everyone! We are the new team for the Chemistry Clinic 2020-2021, Rebecca McGonigle, Lawrence Lee, Isla Slater and Scott Logan. We are all very excited to keep you up to date on all of our projects and how our placement year unfolds!

The Chemistry Clinic is run by Dr Sharon Ingram, Dr Brian McMillan and Prof John Liggat and we work with many different members of staff within the University of Strathclyde and external companies.

Working from Home

Due to the ongoing pandemic, life at the Chemistry Clinic is a little different this year and we realised this when we wanted to include a group photo of us to introduce ourselves- so we did the best we could:

Chemistry Clinic Team 2020 500x300

As with any situation, there are positives and negatives, the negatives obviously being that we can’t yet get back into the lab and do what we love most. However, there is always a silver lining and working from home at the start of our year means we have more time to focus on our outreach plans and managing how to demonstrate science virtually to school pupils. We also have more time to research our projects and get our literature review over and done with giving us more time to focus on our lab work when we can finally get back into it. And finally, it’s given us the chance to test our patience, working with Zoom doesn’t always quite go to plan. Overall, it has been a strange but exciting start to the year, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of it will bring.

Business Meetings

We recently attended our first business meeting which involved a business owner that was querying about how a product could be analysed on different types of surfaces.

It was a great chance to learn how the Chemistry Clinic Team interacts with experts in different fields and see how they address solutions to the client’s problems while still trying to make it understandable at a basic chemistry level. This experience gave us a better insight into what might be expected from us in the future. We are looking forward to engaging with more customers and seeing what we can bring to the table.

Quilts for Cancer

The best part of the Chemistry Clinic placement is that it brings so many different projects from far and wide, that we would otherwise not be able to take part in. We have started working with a project making quilts for pancreatic cancer patients. This is a really unique project and for a great cause, and we’ll be developing our skills in engaging people on social media, relationships with clients, and helping make science a little more accessible. We are all really excited to see where this project goes as it grows larger. As part of this, we’re planning on taking over the Faculty of Science Instagram account, so please keep an eye on @StrathScience for more updates!

Starting Literature Reviews

On top of the client work we are undertaking, we have all started our literature reviews which all link into a project that we have been assigned. This was initially intimidating as we haven’t done anything quite like this during our undergraduate degree, however it has allowed us to improve our research skills which will be vital when we begin our final year projects.

What’s Next?

We are currently planning ahead for virtual school outreach projects for both primary and secondary school pupils, which will hopefully take place in November.