Monday, 24 August 2020

Bethany Sewell - Summer STEM Virtual Work Placement Student - Weekly Reports

In April SATRO took the unprecedented (and sad) decision to suspend the Research Programme for this year due to COVID-19. We asked all our providers for a 'day in the life of' summaries to give the students a flavour of the many types of roles that are available in the professional environments. 

Following SATRO's hard work to develop an online policy. In May, we reached out to our wonderful providers to propose a virtual solution and to get around any social distancing rules. The response was amazing. We asked for suitable titles that the students could research over the summer and devise a short essay and either a PP or a poster with their findings. 

All students have been asked to provide a weekly update on their experience - please see below to see what Bethany has been up to so far! 

 Week One

"For this project I have chosen the ‘Chemistry’ question which asks for research on how catalysts can help improve our lives in the 21st century. I was eager to expand my knowledge on this particular topic as I am interested in the past research and how it influences continued research for future generations and how previous discoveries benefit humankind for many years. I am also passionate about chemistry and I am looking to do a science degree at university. Unsure of what degree to do, I thought I would take this opportunity to explore chemistry in detail to aid my decision.

To begin with, I looked at the first catalysts to be created and the different types of catalysts, homogeneous and heterogeneous. After absorbing the basic knowledge, I went on to look at how catalysts have already been benefiting us. For example, platinum, palladium and rhodium act as heterogeneous catalysts for changing poisonous molecules such as carbon monoxide to more harmless molecules such as carbon dioxide and water vapour. Whilst finding heaps of information on catalysts, what I am finding challenging is gaining insight on how they can help improve our lives in the 21st century, additional to ways that they do already. To help with this I have looked into current research and new research for ideas of potential uses for catalysts. I am excited to continue my research and further strengthen my understanding on catalysts and their uses."

- Bethany Sewell 

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