Blogs and News - St George's School, Edinburgh
"On the 14th of June, seven Lower 4s and I took part in the SCIS Alternative Salters Festival of Chemistry, this involved a trip to Heriot-Watt University for a day of Chemistry fun.
The day started off with a talk from two of the university staff who walked us through what our day would be like and gave us a short safety briefing. We then were taken into the labs where we were dressed in lab coats, disposable gloves, and safety glasses. After dressing up like chemists in the real world, we split into smaller groups and started our first task; “Chemical Cluedo.”
Chemical Cluedo was a set of forensic experiments where we investigated a murder by seeing what chemical reactions took place and which results matched up with those of the killer’s. The first experiment we did was testing types of salts, this took place mainly before lunch.
During lunch we all sat down and ate together. Many people were extremely excited to find out there was a café which sold Starbucks drinks in the building. After some of us guzzling down our sandwiches and drinks we made our way back to the labs to continue with our experiments.
Our second experiment was a chromatography experiment which was fascinating yet slightly frustrating as we had to wait for substances to rise on the paper. Once the experiment was over my partner and I got started on the report, the report was needed to show our results in the competition against the other schools.
Whilst the university students were looking over the report, we had one more experiment to do. This experiment was separate from Chemical Cluedo, and it was based on a scenario where a spacecraft would malfunction if the water temperature changed too much! We were told to try to counteract this by using a chemical to keep the water temperature at the correct reading for a whole minute without fluctuation. We did quite well as we came first and third in this particular experiment, but it was not always easy as one of the times it took three tries before succeeding but we learnt perseverance is key.
Soon after this, the results for the overall school winning were in, so we all frantically made our way back to the lecture hall to know which school had won the prize. Unfortunately, we did not win overall we were still congratulated and felt immensely proud of ourselves.
I am incredibly grateful for this experience, and I am now more excited to go to university when I get older and to potentially take chemistry when I get to my GCSEs! Thank you very much Herriot Watt University!"