I have improved by being able to use a balance which is accurate to 3 decimal places compared to a basic balance which is used at GCSE. Because of this I believe that I have become quite a bit more confident on how I am using a balance which therefore gives me a more accurate weight because at first I needed help by the teacher to weigh to 3dp but now I am able to do it on my own without any supervision whatsoever and get a completely accurate result.
All the way through school I have used balances ranging from digital to spring scales.in the future I would like to be able to weigh liquids to 3dp and then become an expert in the field of using the balances.Moreover, whilst carrying out calorimetry it was essential to calibrate the thermometers correctly at the starting point and end point would be measured as accurate as can be. It was hard to determine which thermometer between the liquid or digital would be more accurate because there were always things that could go wrong with the liquid thermometer for example human error which could be meaning that the thermometer could be read wrong and with the digital thermometer it could take a while for the correct temperature and you could take it out before it was at the correct temperature.
It was clear that some thermometers can go wrong because in my class there was a big difference between results which shows you that something probably did go wrong at some point.
To make sure this doesn’t happen again I could use a data logger because with this there would be little to no possibility of the reading being incorrect.Additionally, I have improved on my sense of health and safety because at first I knew the basics which were just to make sure that you are wearing goggles and other personal protective gear to make sure that nothing could go wrong because at this point we were all under the age of 15 so therefore we could have done something childish and have something go wrong with us. Which is the reason why we learned more on health and safety at A-Level because we are doing more experiments which include possibly dangerous chemicals which helps us know what to do if something does go wrong. Also, before starting the course I had no experience before A level with titrations which was why we had to be taught how to use burettes to dilute an acid whilst at A level which would both be beneficial for the course and hopefully in my career in the future. And in the future I believe I will be able to carry out titrations using more than 1 probe which would again be advantageous to me.As well, I have learned about the best ways to measure temperature this involves basic thermometers which I learned about before the course and then during this course I learned how to use a digital thermometer which will allow me to get more accurate results which then will allow me to become better in all of my results both now and in the future.Another skill I have improved on is measuring temperature because at first I only knew how to use basic ones that everyone knows how to use although during A-Level I learned how to use a digital thermometer to get a more accurate result and then also I learned how to use an infra-red camera which would be the most accurate of all of them which is a good conclusion to come to because it could be useful if I were to begin a career involving measuring temperature.
I have also improved on measuring distances because before starting the course I could only do the basics which included calculating simple distances however during the course we learned to calculate Rf values on chromatography paper and also we will learn about data loggers because all of these skill combined will be really helpful in the future because I will want to know what I am doing while measuring distances.Also I improved on pipetting because I had no experience with the before starting this course which was not good for me at that point because I knew that pipetting was a technique that I was going to be using in the future both for my work at sixth form and the work I will hopefully do in my career and I may even learn how to use an automatic pipette which is both easier and faster than using another one therefore it would most definitely be useful to me in my foreseeable future. Moreover, with chromatography I had only done the basics of it before even starting this course at GCSE which included only one colour on the chromatography paper and then during the course we had used chlorophyll for chromatography which we liquidised using the mortar and pestle and then in the future u will be able to select the correct solvents to get accurate results which would help me in the future because I would know what I am doing if I were to get a job involving chromatography in my career.
Altogether I have improved on my skills and abilities at A level although due to it only be a school building and not a full on laboratory we do not have some of the necessary equipment needed for me to fully develop my skills to an expert level which would be found if I were to go on to do science at university where the proper equipment would be located.Finally, another skill that I have improved on is being supervised because whilst I was younger doing practices at GCSE there was heavy supervision because we were only children and not very independent and confident in what we were doing due to the fact of us having minimal education around the subject however this changed when we started this course because we learned more extensively about the skills and techniques needed for the practices though if we needed guidance we would be supported but not as much as at GCSE and then I would work independently because I was fully confident with my work and skills because I have been trained which would make me extremely prepared for my future because I would be able to work independently and efficiently due to the fact that I was trained to be that way.The transferability of all of these skills could be used in the future because I may go into a career involving these skills and due to the fact of me learning about them for the last few years would give me the attributes needed to work in this field for example I could go on to work at a place like Sellafield where the skills would be appreciated.
These skills are all transferable for example if I were to go to university to study science I would be able to use these certain skills and techniques with confidence because of how I was trained all the way through school therefore this would be beneficial because it would give me a slight advantage because I would not need to be taught the same thing twice meaning that I would be able to complete my work efficiently and swiftly.The learning of all of these techniques also help me with my current course because I will be a part of it for the next 2 years which means that I must know how to do titrations and measure temperature accurately for example because that is the only way I would be able to get a good grade in the course which would help me go into this line of work in the future.This would be valuable to me in the future whilst I am planning my investigations before the experiment because from all of these skills that I have learned through school I would be able to precisely write down what equipment I would need, what could go wrong and also what protective gear I should use and therefore this had trained me to make the best I can be in this field because from this I would be able to set up and carry out investigations either at university or in my career.
However, before starting this course I think I didn’t fully grasp the significance of needing to keep my work station clean because this is crucial in making sure that nothing goes wrong due to the dangerous chemicals used in practices I came to this realisation whilst in the middle of an experiment my peers were smashing equipment whilst in use for example it could have been a beaker with dangerous chemicals, sometimes multiple times a lesson which made me understand the importance of working in a professional environment both for health and safety reasons and to keep equipment safe which will make sure that we to not delay anyone’s progress which could lead to poor teamwork and therefore less efficiency which is bad for everybody.After completing this Unit 1 I believe that I have successfully prepared myself for with a wide range of scientific skills that would make me very much better prepared for university and then in my career in the future.
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