On Wednesday 21st June, Year 9 visited the National Coal Mining Museum to attend a Chemistry event entitled ‘What’s in our Water?’; hosted in conjunction with Huddersfield University.
Students took a guided tour of the Museum’s mine water treatment plan, discovering all the intricate scientific processes involved in treating water, led by Dr Jeremy Hopwood, senior lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. Dr Heywood specialises in the chemical analysis of tap water, and whilst working with Yorkshire Water was instrumental in reducing the limit for lead in tap water from 25 ppm to 10 ppm.
Year 9 had the opportunity to ask any questions to Dr Heywood about the chemical profile of different water sources, before beginning experiments in the field. They collected and analysed 5 samples of mine water from around the site, where they were testing for oxygen, turbidity and temperature. They then went to classrooms to complete a practical session where they did chemical tests on the water samples, testing for iron concentration and pH. Following their lunch, students then had an underground tour of the site.
We hope all the students enjoyed their super curricular trip to the National Coal Mining Museum. The day enabled students to complete both qualitative and quantitative chemical tests using reagents, speaking to experts in the field to get a deeper understanding of how chemistry is used in the ‘real world’. This links to key chemistry topics in their curriculum, which will be covered in more depth in their ‘Potable water’ part of GCSE Chemistry and Combined Science: Trilogy topic of ‘Earth’s Resources’.
Dr S Durden-Brown
Head of Chemistry