To most of us, the word “Chemistry “itself is intimidating and we believe that it is confined to beakers, round bottomed flasks, Bunsen burners and condensers in a laboratory. But that is not the case. Chemistry is all around us. From the fibres that wick away moisture in our clothing to the purified water in our bottle to drink, Chemistry can be found in nearly every part of our modern life. It is lurking in our kitchen cupboards and under the bathroom sink. If you mix bleach and ammonia, the chemical reaction of the two cleaners creates toxic vapours called chloramines. These can create watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and other respiratory irritations when they are inhaled. Soap is a chemical that mankind has been using for the cleansing purpose. You can form a crude soap by mixing ashes and animal fat. How can something so nasty actually make you cleaner? The answer lies within the way soap interacts with oil-based grease, grime and animal fat. Saponification is the heart of soap making. It is an exothermic reaction between oil and fat to form soap. As soon as we cut an onion, tears begin to flow. What is it in an onion that makes them burn our eyes? Onions produce sulphur dioxide that irritates the eyes’ lachrymal glands, producing tears. So, chemistry is an unavoidable yet an interesting part and parcel of our life.
There are many reasons to delve into this subject which helps to improve logic, reasoning and problem-solving skills. A pre-med student can use the degree as a base for a medical career as a surgeon, biochemist, endocrinologist, pharmacist or microbiologist. Chemistry degree is needed for careers such as chemical oceanographers, chemical engineers, chemical information and forensic study. Patent lawyers need a healthy understanding of chemistry, as do food developers and waste management specialists. Uff! You still have a lot more to explore. Above all you need a guide/mentor to pursue chemistry, which in turn calls for a teacher of this unique field. Chemistry is everywhere around you and in you. It’s a never-ending adventure. Are you ready to explore? Start building your chemistry with Chemistry! My best wishes to you!
NSN Matriculation Higher Secondary School.