As part of their Sixth Form studies in Chemistry, our students synthesise and chemically analyse samples of the analgesic drug, aspirin. We recently had the opportunity to visit the Chemistry Department at University of Bath, where we were able to see the spectroscopic instruments which we learn about at both A Level and IB. It was fantastic to see the NMR, IR and Mass Spectrometers working in the real world and exciting to use these instruments to analyse our own samples of aspirin. It was reassuring to prove that not only had we managed to synthesise the correct molecules, but also show how pure our samples were – we certainly have the skills to become the pharmacists of the future! Once we had analysed our samples, we then put our problem solving skills to the test and were able to deduce the structures of unknown molecules on the basis of their spectra.
Our grateful thanks to the staff at University of Bath for allowing us this opportunity.