Faculty of Science & Health

Faculty of Science and Health

Leaving Cert Experiments

Students doing science experiment

DCU School of Chemical Sciences runs 'Leaving Certificate Chemistry Experiments' each year (January), to provide an experience of state of the art facilities and revision for 2nd level students. Students come from schools local to DCU and this year, schools from as far away as Galway and Monaghan attended.

Students are afforded the opportunity to conduct mandatory experiments from the Leaving Certificate syllabus by attending two-hour sessions in the School of Chemical Sciences labs at DCU. Students doing science experimentDuring these sessions, small groups of students carry out a variety of experiments from the Leaving Certificate course and view modern instrumentation to coincide with the syllabus, with supervision and support from DCU lecturers, postgraduate students and technical staff.

The experiments offered are as follows

  • Preparation of soap
  • Extraction of clove oil from cloves
  • Determination of the concentration of Ethanoic acid in Vinegar
  • Determination of free chlorine in bleach by colorimetry
  • Recrystallisation and melting point determination of Benzoic Acid
  • Determination of the relative molecular mass, Mr, of the volatile liquid propanone
  • Preparation of Ethanoic acid

Students doing science experiment

Here's the view of Anne-Marie Callaghan, one the teachers from the Ashbourne Community School about their experience:

'Students get the opportunity to see instruments used in organic chemistry analysis. Such instruments are very expensive and would not be available at second level. Students gain experience in working in a large university lab and become aware of the increased health and safety risks associated with working in such a busy environment. They enjoy the interaction with their demonstrators and gain an insight into the type of undergraduate courses and postgraduate research projects that DCU has to offer. The sessions are well organised and a valuable learning experience for chemistry students'.

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