Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things. From the moment you are born and throughout your life you are surrounded by chemistry; in the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear.
Chemistry, in educational terms, is considered the central science: While chemistry is central to studies in the engineering/technology field it is also a core subject in medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and many pure science courses.
It is important to understand that chemistry is a compulsory requirement for Veterinary Medicine in Ireland and is also a compulsory subject for admission to the medical school in UCC and to Pharmacy in TCD.
“Keep your Options Open with Chemistry” is advice often given by guidance counsellors when asked about choosing a science subject at Leaving Certificate level.
You have an aptitude for Leaving Certificate Chemistry if you:-
- Have an Enquiring Mind
- Enjoy Practical Investigations in the Laboratory
- Have shown reasonable ability in Junior Certificate Science & Mathematics
- Are Good at Numerical Calculations
The Course:The Leaving Certificate syllabus has been revised recently. It is designed to provide a relevant and modern course for those who will end their study of chemistry at Leaving Certificate level. It is also designed to provide a foundation course for those who will continue to study chemistry or related subjects at third level. The student practical work specified on the syllabus will help to ensure the development of important skills in laboratory procedures and techniques.
Activities include numerous teacher demonstrations, computer simulations, data-logging, internet information searches, presentation of project work and student laboratory investigations such as the chemical analysis of water samples, the manufacture of soap, the extraction of essential oils from plants and thin layer chromatography. The pupils, working in pairs, carry out 28 mandatory experiments. In Transition Year the emphasis is on basic chemical numeracy skills, laboratory skills and project work.
Career opportunities with chemistry are vast, and not all confined to the laboratory. From developing life-enhancing drugs to designing a new liquid crystal display, from law to the environment, from health to manufacturing, from aviation to finance, chemistry and chemists make an impact and play a vital role in, our daily life and routines.
Chemistry is a creative science: from inventing new compounds to increase crop yields – to giving fireworks more ‘ooh – aah’.
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