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Chemistry Revealed

A2 level schools’ chemistry workshop

Chemistry Revealed is an evolution of the highly successful 'Uncovering Chemical Secrets' (UCS) developed by Peter Hollamby and Peter Edwards in the School of Chemistry in association with Techniquest and which has been updated and improved over time, including the development of a comprehensive electronic teaching resource DVD which underpins it. The format and content is similar to UCS and the key concepts remain the same; i.e. it is a laboratory based practical exercise which introduces school pupils to analytical and spectroscopic techniques not available in most schools but which are directly relevant to A-level requirements.

The isolation of chemical compounds is important in a range of areas, including identification of contaminants in foodstuffs and the search for new pharmaceuticals. The ‘Chemistry Revealed’ workshop invites A level students to visit the School of Chemistry and to participate in a range of events centred around the isolation and identification of chemical compounds from natural sources.

Caraway Seeds

The material is designed and focussed specifically on the A-level curriculum with relevant examples that give students the opportunity to work in a well-equipped teaching laboratory and extract compounds such as limonene from oranges and eugenol from cloves.

These compounds are then analysed using modern spectroscopic and analytical methods including as IR and NMR spectroscopy and gas chromatography. Students have the opportunity to see the equipment that is used to obtain these experimental data and spectra; they see how the machines are operated, how the data is obtained and processed and how the information is used in a modern context by chemists to identify compounds, determine purity and obtain deeper insight into the properties of chemical compounds.

The practical workshop occupies a whole day with a practical laboratory session in the morning supported by short lecture presentation and a tour and demonstration of the spectrometers and facilities in the afternoon. An extensive e-learning resource, developed specially as support of the workshop, is also available.
The next set of workshops will run from 10th – 21st September 2012.

Separating funnel


Aspects of this event have previously been run under the 'Uncovering Chemical Secrets' banner. Information about this earlier event can be found at

The following poster examples were from previous 'Uncovering Chemical Secrets' workshops. For Chemistry Revealed, similar posters may be obtained from the School of Chemistry but updated to account for recent enhancements of the workshop and the current date etc.


More information can be obtained from the School of Chemistry, please contact Mrs Terrie Dumelow on 02920 874023 (e-mail: