Students in their element for a ’lovely paper’

Chemical reactions and topical issues covered

Students were given two samples within temperature ranges and asked to determine which was purer. There were also some topical questions such as an exercise exploring the release of the element caesium into the atmosphere after the tsunami in Japan.

Students were given two samples within temperature ranges and asked to determine which was purer. There were also some topical questions such as an exercise exploring the release of the element caesium into the atmosphere after the tsunami in Japan.

 

Tsunamis, the Irish chemist Robert Boyle and octane fumes all made for an interesting Leaving Cert chemistry paper yesterday which invited students to “think outside the box”, according to teachers.

Almost 8,500 students sat the chemistry exam this year, which Ciara O’Shea of St Attracta’s Community School in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, described as “very nice”.

“The students liked it – every aspect of the course was tested, which was fair.

“There were a few parts to some of the questions that called on students to think outside the box.

Octane levels
“In two cases they had to predict reactions such as the octane levels in fumes,” said Ms O’Shea, a subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland.

Tara Lyons, chemistry teacher at the Institute of Education, said it was an exam paper that “did what any good examination should; it required students to understand chemical concepts and then reference this understanding to real life situations.”

Which was purer
Students were given two samples within temperature ranges and asked to determine which was purer.

There were also some topical questions such as an exercise exploring the release of the element caesium into the atmosphere after the tsunami in Japan.

Last year was the 350th anniversary of Robert Boyle’s discovery of the relationship between the pressure and volume of a gas.

The 17th century Irish chemist featured on yesterday’s exam.

“There was a wide range of questions on this exam, and something to suit everyone,” Ms O’Shea said.

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