Chemistry: Sixth Formers Take Part In Royal Society Outreach Scheme


At the end of January, Bede’s Sixth Form Chemistry students enjoyed a visit from the University of Sussex, in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry, as part of an outreach program called ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase.’

The session was lead by Dr Mark Osborne, a Physical Chemistry lecturer from the University of Sussex, and Daniel, an RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) Ambassador and PhD student.


Their visit began with a lecture from Dr Osborne that reiterated some spectroscopic techniques (including mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance) which are all topics covered on the A Level syllabus.

The session quickly turned synoptic and brought in further techniques, stretching pupils beyond the confines of the curriculum.


Dr Osborne discussed the everyday applications of spectroscopic techniques, from breathalysers to airport security, and explored the notion that conclusions can only be drawn from analysis of several different results.

Bede’s pupils were then enabled to analyse several samples themselves using one of the University of Sussex’s infrared spectrometers.

The data they accumulated was then combined with data garnered from the use of other techniques before the pupils were challenged to identify unknown substances in the samples.


Last but not least, the students were also treated to an in-depth lecture about current research being undertaken at Sussex and its links to Nobel prize winning scientists.

All in all the session gave all present an exciting and thought-provoking morning which was enjoyed by all.

We heartily thank Dr Osborne and Daniel for their time and hope to continue to deepen our relationship with both the Royal Society and University of Sussex moving forward.


Learn more about the Bede's Chemistry department >

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