With their exams over, Y12 Chemistry students have just enjoyed a trip to Chimiscope, a laboratory at the University of Geneva which is open to the public, where they took part in an interactive workshop on colours.
They enjoyed investigating the different wavelengths of light by using lasers and balloons, they tried to sort out Lego pieces by colour in the semi darkness (either in blue or red light) which turned out to be quite tricky! They also found out, using the principles of chromatography, that all coloured markers are in fact made up from a mixture of colours, that can be separated using a suitable solvent. Lastly, they discovered that some chemical species are involved in reversible reactions and can change their structure depending on the acidity of the solution. They therefore exhibit different colours at different pHs, depending on how many hydrogen ions are present in the solution, and can be used as acid-base indicators.
Over the next two weeks, Y12 Chemistry students will also learn lots about emulsions and practical aspects of Chemistry, by preparing a face cream with natural ingredients; they will tie-dye T-shirts and also take part in an in-house laboratory skills competition.