The course

Institute of Chemical Research (ICIQ)

From 24 January to 12 December

The Chemistry course from the Crazy about Science programme of the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation is a course developed by the Catalan Institute for Chemical Research  (ICIQ) aimed at 1st year A-Level students with a special interest and talent in chemistry. The basic objective of this project is to foster the scientific vocation of these young people, as well as to enhance their enthusiasm for chemistry and research.

The course will be held for 13 Saturdays from 24 January 2020 to 12 December 2020 at the ICIQ facilities.

The course will cover 12 different chemistry topics, including major chemical reactions, presented by ICIQ doctoral and postdoctoral students. In addition, in each session a senior researcher from the centre will give a one-hour talk.

This course combines theory sessions and hands-on experimental activities. Each session will be divided into four parts:

  • Theoretical talk on a specific topic
  • Seminar given by a principal researcher of the centre
  • Practices related to a characterisation technique
  • Practical visualisation using chemical experiments
     

The idea of introducing students to basic scientific research routines and methods will be greatly strengthened. To achieve this, students will be allowed to question their ideas, contrast them, and move on to more elaborate concepts and schemes through various chemical experiments that they will have to design and carry out.

Students will also take a brief look at the history of chemistry through 21 characters that they will have to recreate.

Catalan and English will be used equally, so a good knowledge of English is required.

Registration for the Crazy about Chemistry course will be open from 16 September to 24 October 2019 and among all those enrolled 21 students will be selected from 1st year of A-Levels to participate in this edition of the course within the 8th edition of the Crazy about Science programme that will take place in 2020.

Specific objectives

Students who have the opportunity to participate in the course:

  • They will experience the scientific method first-hand in an international research centre
  • They will improve their knowledge of scientific theory and techniques in the field of chemistry
  • They will work with young professional scientists who will assist and guide them in the process
  • They will have a clear vision for deciding if they want to pursue a career related to the chemical sciences
  • In the last sessions, they will develop an "Artificial photosynthesis” project

Academic studies

  • It encourages young people in scientific vocations linked to the world of chemistry, helping to guide their academic and professional futures. 
  • It provides the opportunity for your A-Level Research Project to be tutored by a leading research centre.

Sessions

Session 1. Introduction and visit to the centre

Day: Friday 24 January 2020

Opening hours: 5 pm to 8 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Patricia Llanes, Dr. Esther Alza and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan and English

Visit to a research laboratory and visit to a spin-off of the centre. Presentation by the director of the ICIQ, the programme team and the students. Delivery of dossiers, scientific articles and explanation of the operation of the sessions.

Session 2. Chemical reaction technologies

Day: Saturday 1 February 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Marta Giménez, Dr. Alicia Monleón, Dr. Ángel Mudarra and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan

Theory: Chemical reaction technologies, pH, volumetry.

Lab practices: Drug pH, Homemade Indicators, Rainbow Cabbage experiment, Curry and red fruits, phenolphthalein surprises and acidity of vinegar.

Session 3. Chirality and ligands for catalysis

Day: Saturday 15 February 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Prof. Anton Vidal and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan and English

Theory: Chirality and ligands for catalysis, catalysis and acid-base reactions.

Laboratory practices: Vase Genius, deconstruction of oxygenated water, an oscillating reaction, kinetics of hydrogen peroxide reduction by iodide ions, a visible activated complex, volcano eruption I, egg deconstruction, mosquitoes, colour of vegetables, hard unboiled egg, yellow bananas.

Session 4. X-ray diffraction

Day: Saturday 7 March 2020

Opening hours: 9.30am to 4.30pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Mónica Pérez-Temprano, Dr. Jordi Benet and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan, Spanish and English

Theory: Lakes, lego, and secrets of chemical reactions and X-ray diffraction.

Laboratory practices: Transform wine into water, coloured pots, not cooking anymore, tracks that disappear, purifying water, chameleons, chemical traffic lights and invisible ink.

Session 5. The world of redox

Day: Saturday 21 March 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Marcos Suero, Dr. Alicia Monleón, Dr. Ángel Mudarra and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan, Spanish and English

Theory: The world of redox, precipitation reactions and non-Newtonian fluids.

Laboratory practices: Creating stalagmites, do I heat or cool?, transforming bubbles with dust, moving sand, what kind of pill do we have? Getting colours, vegetable pigments, the chemical waiter and powerful sulphuric acid.

Session 6. Oral presentations of scientific articles

Day: Saturday 4 April 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Alicia Monleón, Dr. Ángel Mudarra and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: English

Oral presentations of scientific articles: Each student will submit a scientific article.

Session 7. Spectrometric techniques

Day: Saturday 25 April 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Dr. Mariona Urtasun and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Catalan and English

Theory: Spectrometric techniques, dehydration and saponification reactions.

Laboratory practices: Sugar worm, fried egg without fire, much more than water, food starch, soap making, playing CSI and rusty coins.

Session 8. Pressure reactions

Day: Saturday 9 May 2020

Opening hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Location: ICIQ, Avinguda dels Països Catalans, 16, Tarragona

Session coordination: Dr. Laia Pellejà

Session given by: Prof. Atsushi Urakawa, Dr. Simona Curelli and Dr. Laia Pellejà

Language: Spanish and English

Theory: Pressure reactions, chromatography.

Laboratory practices: 1 + 1 = 2, do we not know how to add?, jump ball, deconstructing a porexpan, manufacture of nylon and rayon, bursting a balloon and superabsorption.

Session 9. Artificial photosynthesis (I)
Session 10. Artificial photosynthesis (II)
Sessió 12 - Quiralitat i lligands per a catàlisi

Dia: Dissabte 20 de novembre

Horari: 9.30h a 16.30h

Lloc: Sessió online

Coordinació de la sessió: Dra. Laura Hernández

Sessió a càrrec de: Prof. Marcos Suero i Dra. Laura Hernández

Idioma: Català i castellà

Teoria: Densitat, miscibilitat i tensió superficial.

Pràctiques de laboratori: Prou mosquits, El geni de gerro, El camaleó, Transformar vi en aigua

Sessió 13 - Acte de cloenda

Dia: Dissabte 27 de novembre

Horari: 10h a 13h

Lloc: Sessió online

Coordinació de la sessió: Dra. Laura Hernández

Sessió a càrrec de: Prof. Emilio Palomares, Dra. Laia Pellejà i Dra. Laura Hernández

Idioma: Català, castellà i anglès

Presentació final per part dels estudiants oberta al públic i entrega de diplomes

Session 11. Supramolecular chemistry
Schedule
Schedule
24 January from 3pm to 8pm
Introduction and visit to the centre
Catalan Institute of Chemical Research (ICIQ)
Dissabte 6 de març
Sessió online
Tecnologies de la reacció química
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 20 de març
Sessió online
Difracció de raigs X
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 10 d'abril
Sessió online
El món de les redox
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 24 d'abril
Sessió online
El món de les redox (II)
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 8 de maig
Sessió online
Viatjant a través de la història de la química
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 22 de maig
Sessió online
Fotosíntesi artificial
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 13.30h
Dissabte 18 de setembre
Sessió online
Presentacions orals d’articles científics
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 16.30h
Dissabte 2 d'octubre
Sessió online
Reaccions a pressió i cuina molecular
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 16.30h
Dissabte 16 d'octubre
Sessió online
Química supramolecular
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 16.30h
Dissabte 6 de novembre
Sessió online
Tècniques espectromètriques
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 16.30h
Dissabte 20 de novembre
Sessió online
Quiralitat i lligands per a catàlisi
Sessió online teòrico-pràctica. De 9.30h a 16.30h
Dissabte 27 de novembre
Sessió online
Acte de cloenda
Acte de cloenda. De 10h a 13h