A day in the life of: An Alchemist

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This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.

By Eddrick Tan Qi Zhong, Cheryl Chor, Jerome Lee, Matthew Wong and Ryan Phua

Club Alchemy 2015.

Alchemists hail from the times of antiquity, their work clearing the path for empiricism to take centre stage. Club Alchemy celebrates this tenacity and sense of inquiry and curiosity, transforming our members into passionate students of Chemistry through theory and practical sessions, conducted in an environment conducive for self discovery, experimentalism and peer learning.

We are an exploratory club, where members get to stretch the limits of what they can do with household items and synthesize different compounds, all while learning more about Chemistry in a relaxed environment with like-minded Alchemists.

While we’ve moved past trying to make gold from lead, practical sessions in Club Alchemy are conducted with the purpose of investigating and experiencing phenomena that occurs in our daily lives. Practical sessions that have been conducted over the past year include ice-cream making in 3 different ways (you even get the eat the ice cream afterwards, even though the taste depends on how successful the ice-cream makers were), synthesis of aspirin (you probably shouldn’t eat this afterwards), as well as candle making (you definitely shouldn’t be eating this). Besides getting the opportunity to dive into interesting practical experiments, Alchemists also get to learn about the theory behind those experiments – one such experiment even appeared in a Promos paper!

Interesting wax designs made during an alchemy session

Apart from practical sessions, theory sessions are also conducted which introduce topics inside and outside of the H2 syllabus. These classroom sessions may sound boring, but they include presentations on areas of high interest, ranging from nuclear energy to methamphetamine, allowing members to have increased exposure to various concepts of the subject.

Other fun activities that would be conducted include buzzer sessions, where quirky question and answers and trollish point schemes are sure to excite our Alchemists. The questions range from random trivia to fun Chemistry related puns. Moreover, there are also activities lined up for Alchemists every year, such as organising and hosting bi-annual events such as Eureka!, a multi-disciplinary science competition for secondary school students. Alchemists also get the opportunity to participate in events like the Chemistry Circuit Challenge, held by the National University of Singapore.

2015 Chem Circuit Challenge Team :)

Everyone is welcome at Club Alchemy! As long as you are interested in learning more about Chemistry and carrying out some lab work with like-minded alchemists, do consider joining Club Alchemy. It doesn’t matter whether you haven’t the foggiest of what an atom is or how radioactivity works, anyone aspiring to learn more about Chemistry is more than welcome! Our sessions are conducted every Monday from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and we have a whole list of exciting activities planned out for you, so we hope to see you soon!

Occasionally, we enhance our practicals :)
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