We welcomed visitors from the University of Leicester to come and do a masterclass in spectroscopy to year 11, 12 and 13 chemistry students. There was an opportunity for the students to solve problems and investigate a ‘who done it’ using spectroscopy.

Here is an article from Lizzie Eyre and Neve Solomon who are year 12 chemistry students:

‘Visitors from the University of Leicester came to the school to demonstrate how infrared spectroscopy works. I found this a very useful experience as we have been learning about mass spectrometry in class recently and being able to visualise and have a hand’s on experience with the equipment allowed us to expand our knowledge and understanding. This enabled us to see infrared spectrometry in practice and how the process is used after A-level. We also found out new things about infrared spectrometry such as how much the equipment cost (£16000 and that’s not even for everything) and how delicate you have to be with the sodium chloride plates as any contamination will be picked up on the machine. The experience was fun due to being able to use the equipment to its full potential. Although analysing the data was a very challenging task, with help from the visiting academics we were able to gain a basic understanding of the data we produced therefore making it the most exciting part as we ourselves produced it. The professors were very understanding, kind and patient with us, especially considering we had not come across Infrared Spectrometry before, the learning curve was steep.

Along with having the opportunity to use the equipment they also gave us super cool freebees such as a glow in the dark pen and a periodic table for folders! It was interesting and funny to see how the different molecules of a substance moves and vibrates when subjected to a different environment.’

Dr McAleese, Lizzie Eyre and Neve Solomon