School pupils create aspirin at Bangor University
Over 50 school pupils from north Wales and the North West of England took part in ChemPharma at Bangor University recently.
The aim of the event was to give school children an experience of chemistry in a University setting and an understanding of how pharmaceuticals are made, illustrating the amount of analysis and testing work done before a drug can be made available.
The Year 12 School students attended a pharmaceuticals themed workshop held in the chemistry laboratories where they were synthesising aspirin. The experiment set for the schools is similar to one conducted by first year Chemistry Undergraduates.
Dr John Roberts, Commercial Director at Penn Pharma, Gwent then talked to the students about career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. They learnt about the structure of the pharmaceutical industry, current and future research and development areas and the range of careers available for chemistry and life science graduates.
Teacher Hayley Evans from Mold’s Alun School commented: “Chempharma provided an excellent opportunity for students to experience independence in a university laboratory. The day really encouraged them to think for themselves and should give them confidence in the A2 practical next year.”
Helen Williams, a teacher at Deeside College said: “This was an amazing opportunity for young people to get stuck into real chemistry. Synthesising a chemical they are all familiar with using equipment and processed they only tend to study theoretically. A real hands-on experience.”
Stevie Scanlan, Marketing Manager for the School of Chemistry said: “The support we receive from companies like Penn enables us to host events that not only complement the school curriculum, but hopefully show local pupils that there are study and subsequent employment opportunities available locally.”
For further information on chemistry events for schools please see the web site www.bangor.ac.uk/chemistry
Publication date: 9 July 2013