On Wednesday 15 March 2017 forty of our Year 11 Chemistry students attended the Chemistry at Work exhibition organised by the Department of Pharmacy at University of Ulster, Coleraine campus. The Department is a relatively new school in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences but has been ranked for the third year running as the top UK university for studying Pharmacy.
A very informative morning was spent finding out about how the Chemistry studied in the classroom is used in the real world. The pupils enjoyed 6 short presentations during the course of the morning with plenty of opportunity to ask questions and engage with the presenters about what their job involved. From chewing willow bark to extracting compounds from fox gloves the pupils were enlightened as to where many of our medicines originate and the time-frame it takes to develop a medicine. It is amazing to think of tiny Northern Ireland being home to so many of the large global pharmaceutical companies that we may have heard of. The pharmaceutical industry is ever-growing and is certainly an area to consider in the future for jobs. Thanks to UUC for organising the event and providing refreshments and also to the global pharmaceutical companies (Almac, Actavis and Randox) who gave presentations. Bradley Findlay, Peter McConaghie and Anna-Jayne Murphy participated in a race to package a cold cream and the best was scored by the Pharmacist and put forward to compete against the best in each of the other groups. Congratulations to Anna-Jayne who won the prize for the best packaging of a pharmaceutical cream out of all of the schools in attendance that morning. She received a white coat, a pair of safety glasses and a rather fancy spatula that was much envied by our technician! Sam Quinn and Bradley Finlay also got the opportunity to make their own bath bomb – hope you enjoyed the relaxing bath that evening boys! The morning concluded with a fantastic ‘Science of Bubbles’ Show performed by Scientific Sue with a number of our pupils acting as glamorous assistants in the interactive experiments which Sue performed.