Our Stage 2 Chemistry students recently had the opportunity to see some of what they have been learning about in class put into action at Flinders University in an Analytical Chemistry workshop. We have been studying how complex mixtures can be separated using chromatography and the excursion enabled students to make the connections between the theory and the applications. Our demonstrator, Paris, is in her final year of her Chemistry degree. She showed us how to separate the components of Kool-Aid using column chromatography as well as separating and then combining the two ingredients of glow sticks that make them glow. Finally, we investigated some of the chemical components of wine using a gas chromatogram, and the applications of atomic absorption spectroscopy were also demonstrated. The excursion was a great way to consolidate our classroom learning and to ask questions about career pathways for budding chemists.
Dr Catherine O’Halloran