On Friday 22nd January chemistry A-Level students from Range High School visited the Institute for a workshop in the NMR Centre for Structural Biology organised by Dr Jill Madine. The aim of the visit was to gain some practical experience to complement their A-Level chemistry curriculum. Throughout the day the students learnt about the advantages and disadvantages of mass spec and NMR from Dr Mark Wilkinson and Dr Marie Phelan, learnt to prepare and run NMR samples and how to interpret the data. Additionally, prior to their visit, as part of a school practical, they have made salicylic acid – a precursor for aspirin. We obtained these samples and collected NMR spectra of their products ready for analysis on the day. This enabled them to establish how successful their synthesis had been and compare their results across the class.
Overall a good day was had by all. Student feedback highlighted that it was good to go outside of a classroom and see how NMR and mass spec are being applied here in the University and beyond across a range of disciplines. A range of University of Liverpool postgraduate students and postdocs helped with the day providing practical and theoretical advice, including Dr Hannah Davies, Dr Vicky Pedder, James Torpey and Kieran Hand.