Chemistry Clinic - November 2018
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.
Remember, remember the month of November
It seems the end of the year has come around in the blink of an eye and we’re heading into December with a bang. November has been a busy month filled with activities, some of which took us out with the realms of the University of Strathclyde campus.
Plenty excitement on our first outing to Bishopbriggs, where we set up a Forensic Crime Scene for the students to solve. With presumptive tests on blood samples, electrostatic lifts and fingerprinting, the pupils were right in the thick of this “murder”. This interactive event gave us an opportunity to inject excitement into how the students perceive science and, hopefully, entice the students to choose a career path in connection with STEM subjects.
Our other adventure sent us trekking south to Dumfries. This was more of a networking event and the whole process was set up in a layout that resembled a “speed-dating” theme. Small groups of three or four came around each table for five minutes to hear the various opportunities that STEM subjects provide, and the different routes people had taken to reach their current position. From employees of big companies to undergraduates like ourselves, the children had countless numbers of “brains to pick”. Not only did the students benefit from this event but we also came away with an open mind and some refreshing ideas on where our own careers could lead to.
We have now attended two lectures of the Knowledge Exchange block and have taken a lot of information on-board from the guest speakers. This month’s topic was Intellectual Properties and it was interesting to look at chemistry from a different perspective and the work involved in making the theory and blueprints, behind the products, secure. We were particularly taken aback by the complex process involved in approving a patent.
We have learned the art of multi-tasking this month to ensure our research and development projects didn’t come to a stand-still while being involved in other activities.
The wax-workers have been busy trying to develop a quality control test and it is safe to say that they have got the “ball-rolling” on that one. This test will help the team look towards settling on the ideal adhesive coating for their material.
After coming to a dead-end in the development of our glowing project, a meeting with John Liggat and Sharon Ingram helped us finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Having changed course on our phosphorescent carrier we feel we are finally on the right track to finding a solution to this project brief. If all things continue the way they are, it should be full steam ahead to finalising a marketable product.
Oh yes, these shorter days and colder nights have resulted in us having nowhere to hide from the dreaded literature reviews. However, we have managed to concoct a review of the literature and experimental data relevant to our individual topics. We won’t be declaring ourselves as the Marie Curies’ and Aristotles’ of the future, quite yet, but we have definitely managed to expand our knowledge base during the write-up of our papers.
We head into the Christmas season with a “ho-ho-ho” and a spring in our step as we draw closer to the end of our first half in the Chemistry Clinic. We will be looking to cement our project development ideas and also confirm the details of our looming Alumni Event taking place in February 2019.
Written by Ben Clark, Jonny Clark, Cirsty Gillies & Peter MacDonald
Chemistry Clinic Team
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Ben Clark weighing out the final product of the Advanced Higher Methyl Orange projects which we have been working on this month.