Chemistry is the study of the very matter which makes up the universe and everything in it, from the water you drink to the amazingly complex series of chemical reactions which form the human body. It seeks to explain how different substances are formed, how they react, how they are the same and how they differ, how a very safe substance can become a very dangerous substance with little change happening. In chemistry, molecules and other substances are torn apart and their atoms joined back together in different patterns which behave in totally different ways.
Students will develop hands-on skills with a range of professional chemical apparatus including burettes and pipettes. They use this equipment to investigate many different types of chemical reactions and examine how different substances behave. Chemical equations are worked out with a focus on balancing the atoms and charges on each side. Students have a close look at the current theory of why different atoms behave the way that they do, and how this behaviour depends on the atomic structure, particularly the arrangement of the electrons. The periodic table is studied to see how it has been developed to arrange all known elements into patterns based on a range of properties.
Students investigate why water and other liquids sometimes form large droplets on materials while other times it seems to just soak in. They also look at reactions which occur in solid, liquid and gas phases, and some ways to change how fast reactions occur, and how this can be exploited by man in industrial chemistry.
This course is strongly recommended for all students considering VCE chemistry, a vital science for entry into a large range of university courses and careers, providing a solid foundation for further studies.