Class 9 Organic Chemistry
These last few weeks we have been re-exploring the world of Organic Chemistry - the world of carbon compounds. The first and main part of the main lesson we have looked at a carbon cycle. Starting with the burning of a candle, we proved that when it burned, it released carbon dioxide. Next, photosynthesis was explored, and we tested the leaves of a plant for the presence of starch. Next, sugars were transformed into alcohol through the work of yeast, and then further to organic acids (both by yeast and by direct chemical transformation). The world of fragrant esters was next, produced by combining alcohols and organic acids, which brought us back to the oils and fats (a kind of ester). Lately, we have been looking at the importance of other organic substances in industrial processes such as the first plastics, explosives and soap-making.
I have tried to give the students the chance to do the practical activities themselves, so they have done brewing, distillation, soap making, silver mirror making and other activities. There has usually been lively discussion in the lessons and I have found Class 9’s attitude to the subject very good. They don’t always listen as carefully as they might, but they really do have good enthusiasm.
The class has been taught half in English and half in Chinese so that the students have the chance and the need to learn the new terminologies in both languages. Most students have not found this too difficult, and their cooperation with each other has been really good.