News from The Kings of Wessex Academy


Students explore Spectroscopy in a Suitcase

20th December, 2018 by Jude Owens

Year 13 Chemistry students at The Kings of Wessex Academy recently took part in the visiting workshop ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase.’

All was revealed about this intriguing scientific tongue-twister by two PhD Chemistry students from the University of Bristol who explained their work and the significance of different spectroscopy methods within their research. A mobile spectrometer is a very expensive piece of equipment costing around £20,000, a smaller version than those used in research and the talk is so called as the suitcase is its careful carrying case given it is so valuable and fragile.

Students enjoyed their hands-on experience for their A Level Chemistry course looking at the absorbance of light by molecules; they worked on two different spectroscopic techniques, infrared spectroscopy and uv/visible spectroscopy and used them to analyse samples of aspirin they had made previously. They relished being research scientists with this sophisticated scientific equipment and found it to be a very interesting and engaging experience and enjoyed the opportunity to put their A Level theory into practice and to learn more about studying science at university.

Subject Leader for Science/Chemistry Bethan Riddick praised the students for their curiosity and in applying their subject knowledge intelligently and thanked Fabian and Joe from the University of Bristol for visiting and inspiring and guiding the students.