University of Canterbury Chemistry Trip

Level 3 Chemistry students conducted a Field Trip to Canterbury University on the 16th and 17th June 2022. This is part of Canterbury University’s Outreach program. It has proved to be beneficial in the past for our students (and other schools).

The University of Canterbury School of Physical and Chemical Sciences makes their laboratories available to New Zealand schools for students to undertake their Chemistry 2.1 and 3.1 investigations. The University provided staff and graduate students to assist our students along with the glassware, equipment, and most of the chemicals that they need. Assessments have been developed with the Canterbury Science Teachers Association and are intended for use by students carrying out the Chemistry 3.1 standard.

Day 1: Thursday 16th June

  • Tour of the Chemistry.
  • Performed chemistry

Students performed two experiments in the lab on their first day. Experiments were based on synthesis of an organic compound using vacuum filtration and separating colour pigments using column chromatography.

Day 2: Friday 17th June

  • Level 3 Chemistry Students in Chem 3.1 Lab: AS 91387 data collection

Our second day started early where students were to collect their data. This is based on their 3.1 Achievement Standard (AS91387) where students had to determine the concentration of Vitamin C in orange juice by redox titration with iodine solution. Vitamin C, more properly called ascorbic acid, is an essential antioxidant needed by the human body. Students had initially prepared their samples a week before the trip where samples were put in different temperatures. Prior to their titration experiments, students had to separate pulp from their juice samples hence had the opportunity to use a centrifuge. A centrifuge is a device that uses centrifugal force to separate various components of a fluid.

Students performed their first titration where they had to standardized Iodine and then prepared their sample for pulp separation. Their second titration was between ascorbic acid and iodine which they managed to complete at 1.30pm after of which they all groups had to perform twenty titrations.

I would like to take this time to thank all our parents for your tremendous support, Dr. Hunter and Mr. K. Gallagher from our neighboring school, Grey High and our Senior Management Team for this great opportunity. This was a worthwhile trip which our students greatly enjoyed and lastly, I would like to thank our Year 13 Chemistry students for their tremendous effort that has led to a successful trip.

Ema Motu

Chemistry Teacher