Chemistry Clinic - Winter 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.

STEM Outreach

As part of our placement year, we work as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Ambassadors and promote science to school aged children. This year we are unable to attend primary schools in person, so we have been developing virtual alternatives. Our plan this year is to host a Zoom meeting where we can talk through a presentation and show some exciting science experiments the young people can try out themselves! Some of which include: making slime, self-inflating balloons, lava lamps and film-canister rockets.

All of these experiments are easy, fun and safe for all ages to attempt, whilst providing an insight in to science. It also gives school pupils a chance to consider what’s going on themselves, hopefully sparking their interest in chemistry.

Starting New Projects

We have been in meetings with a company and it is an exciting opportunity for Isla and Lawrence to learn more organic chemistry. Everyone in the Chemistry Clinic Team enjoys synthesis in the lab, as this gives us a chance to see the chemistry we have been learning about in action; from colour changing reactions to analysing products and working out how successful a reaction has been. However, for the time being the Chemistry Clinic is still operating from home!

Instagram Takeover

The Faculty of Science invited us to take over their Instagram @StrathScience for five days to promote the Chemistry Clinic and to spread awareness of a project we have been involved with, Quilts4Cancer. Our goal was to raise awareness about the project and symptoms of pancreatic cancer. We uploaded facts and statistics as well as a quiz on the final day of the takeover to see how much people had learned. We also shared a few of our STEM outreach experiments and some info about the Team. Overall, the takeover was a success and we received a very positive reception.

Literature Review and Distance Learning Assignment

We have been working hard on our literature reviews and have finally finished and submitted our first drafts. We have gathered loads of new information about our specific topics and expanded our knowledge during the write-ups for these papers. We are nervously waiting for our feedback and ready to take on any constructive criticism needed to improve our literature reviews for the final draft.

We have been assigned our distance learning assignments for this year and have been given electrochemistry work to keep us ticking over until Christmas. It has been a while since we have had to do any work based on this topic and it has been interesting to recall the knowledge we had previously engrained.

What is next?

We continue to collaborate with clients and we are currently reading up on different literature surrounding our projects. We are also going to begin a new project and we will be carrying out our own experiments to explain ‘science at home’ - stay tuned to see more!

Chemistry Clinic Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp

Chemistry Clinic Slime Production

Slime Production

The items needed to make slime

Chemistry Clinic Slime

Slime Production

Making the slime