Studying chemistry, the science of matter and its transformations, serves as the bedrock of the world around us. From the air we breathe to the food we consume, chemistry intricately weaves its principles into every facet of our lives.
In this blog post, we talk to César Prado, Diploma Coordinator-Deputy Head as well as a member of our Chemistry faculty at The Global College about the compelling reasons why studying chemistry isn’t merely an academic pursuit but a fundamental gateway to comprehending the essence of existence. Join us as we unravel the importance and pervasive influence of chemistry in shaping our past, present, and future.
Why should we be studying chemistry?
First of all, please forgive my bias: I can see how Chemistry is the most interesting of sciences. It ranges from deducting the existence of invisible entities from the macroscopic properties of the different materials, to explain the complexity of the processes that make life work. It is the link between the abstract concepts of physics and the diversity of ecosystems.
You can study the basic chemical blocks and their behaviour at molecular level, to the understanding of the reactivity and interactions in our body and organs. And we can apply our knowledge to cooking, from large scale industrial catering to minimalistic and astonishing Michelin-star-awarded kitchens.
Finally, sustainability is one of our major challenges for the current times and even more for the world of tomorrow, the one that will be inherited by the students of today. Synthesis of fertilisers, safe elimination of wastes, incrementing reaction yields, increasing specificity of reactions, use of alternative reactants and minimising the amounts needed, recovery of affected soils… Chemistry is directly involved in all these aspects.
What does the IB program in chemistry cover?
The IB program in Chemistry is divided into two big concepts: structure and reactivity. These are the main drivers of chemistry and they interact with each other, so the structure of matter leads to the type and intensity of the reactions that can take place. This means that we can even predict when these reactions are going to happen and in what way.
Atomic structure, energy exchange, kinetics, equilibrium, proton and electron movements, analysis and creation of organic compounds, and the understanding of life components are the contents of our 2-year course.
What degrees do students apply for at university once they have done an IB program in Chemistry?
Back to personal bias, I can say Chemistry is good for every single study. Apart from its contents, a scientific discipline like chemistry provides a way to structure our minds and that is something that can be applied directly in any type of profession.
Of course, there are areas for which Chemistry is a requirement such as scientific careers, biomedical studies, or engineering. Chemistry has always been directly related to industrial activities so business can be very well complemented by this kind of knowledge.
What is the best thing about studying chemistry?
The beauty of studying Chemistry, in my opinion, lies in the discovery and understanding of the origins and reasons behind the natural processes that surround us.
Why things happen in a certain way – and sometimes in no other – can be foreseen. And chemical knowledge provides the tools to design and build our own compounds and allow us to predict their behaviour and performance beforehand. Chemistry provides the power to enjoy the beauty of visualising atoms interacting with each other in an intimate dance.
This deeper comprehension helps us to appreciate the evident wonders of nature and even more, as it provides us with the keys to unlock the gates of the not so obvious. It is not spoiling the magic trick, it is understanding it and creating better illusions.