CCA Previews ’18: Club Alchemy

By Goh Wei Wei (18S06M), Chairperson

The ancient art of Alchemy essentially involves the ‘art of transformation’, from one element to another. Ancient alchemists strived to transform base metals into noble metals, especially gold – imagine the wealth one could gain from generating value out of almost nothing!

The key objective of Club Alchemy is just as its namesake – to transform everyone into passionate alchemists, eager and curious in the study of Chemistry, in a setting conducive for peer learning as well as self-discovery, while forging forever lasting friendships with like-minded members. The once-a-week sessions are held from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm on Mondays and are meant for members to relax and have fun after a day of school, while also taking with them one more drop from the fountain of Chemistry. Members alternate between lab sessions and theory segments, where they are guided in making materials and compounds of interest and where they obtain understanding of underlying processes and chemistry principles respectively.

Though we’ve moved past trying to make gold from lead, we have tried to derive “gold” by heating zinc and copper.

Silver sheets are zinc, brown is copper, and finally “GOLD”

Practical sessions in Club Alchemy are often conducted with the purpose of investigating and experiencing phenomena that occurs in our daily lives. This includes ice-cream making of 3 different flavours (you even get to eat the ice cream afterwards!), resin making, as well as soap making (you definitely shouldn’t be eating these). Besides getting the opportunity to dive into interesting practical experiments, Alchemists also get to learn about the theory behind those experiments! Who knows? One day, it might be one of your exam questions!

Tasting the solidified ice-cream!

Our theory segment explores more than just the 9729 Chemistry Higher 2 Syllabus. We engage in any Chemistry topics under the sun! You name it, we’ll have it! To conclude the theory sessions, we would have exciting quizzes where there are prizes to be won! What better way is there to learn more about Chemistry!

Other than just practicals and theory, 2017 marked the year where Alchemy had its first ever field trip to Senses International, a fragrance making company, where every Alchemist had the opportunity to create their own coloured perfume in a bottle!

With our completed perfume!

Needless to say, we extend our welcome to anyone interested, be it those who just want to try something new or those who have professed their undying love for Chemistry. To that end, we explore unconventional topics to allow everyone to learn something regardless of their prior knowledge. Remember, no prior knowledge required!

We learn and improve by experimenting, and in 2018, Alchemy will expand its horizons to give our members a more holistic experience. Opportunities include more field trips and more intriguing practicals! On top of that, the club is also exploring alternative avenues of learning as well as pushing for new initiatives such as VIA opportunities where members can share their love of chemistry with primary school students.

Club Alchemy aims to advance the frontiers of Chemistry, providing an environment conducive to learning yet with minimum pressure. The alchemists of old may not have succeeded in finding value, but perhaps, at the end of your 2 years with us, you will.

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