Drug testing equipment for athletes helps students with studies

A £10,000 piece of equipment used for drug-testing athletes helped students with their studies.

Year 12 and 13 students at Epping St John’s School, in Epping, were given access to the spectroscopy machine by representatives from University College London (UCL) who visited the school.

The experience tied in with students’ work in both A-level chemistry and physics.

Chris Reeder, head of Key Stage 3 and 5 science, said: “The machine uses infrared to identify different substances. It is used in drug analysis, drug testing athletes and to test chemicals.

“Students learned how to use the equipment and were able to gain an insight from data produced by it which enabled them to draw conclusions about the chemicals they were testing.

“Students found it really useful as it brought their studies to life and gave them hands-on experience they would not normally get at school. Without this, students would have to learn theoretically.”

It is hoped students will be able to visit the UCL to use other equipment too large to transport into school.

Stephen Hehir, executive head, said: “It is so important that our ESJ students get to work with scientists from our top UK universities as this will encourage more and more young people to enter the wonderful world of science.”

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