Sam, Anna and Dermot teach TY students about molecular logic

As part of the School of Chemisty’s annual Transition Year (TY) programme, Sam, Anna and Dermot gave an interactive demonstration on molecular logic to a group of sixty TY students. This is the second year in a row that the group has presented on smart materials and chemical computation, in an informative lecture that covers the life and legacy of mathematician George Boole, logic gates and the life-saving work of Prof A.P. de Silva in Belfast, and our own group’s work with lanthanides.

The students learned how logical functions operate in a series of interactive exercises, before testing out the gel-based logic gates themselves. The demonstration was originally developed by Sam and Joe as part of Discover Research Dublin 2015, and to mark the 200th birthday of Boole.

TG Group Attend MASC 2016 in Edinburgh

This year’s Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (MASC) group meeting was held in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Several members of the group attended the two-day RSC conference, presenting their work alongside a busy programme of international speakers from Europe, the US, Japan and New Zealand, including one of this year’s Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Sir Fraser Stoddart.

Dermot becomes a SFI Smart Futures Ambassador

Dermot attended the SFI Smart Futures ambassador training this week at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) head office in Dublin. As part of Smart Futures, Dermot will be teaching secondary school students about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM.

Smart Futures is coordinated by SFI in partnership with a variety of other groups such as Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The training was provided as part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme in which PhD students travel to schools to provide students with hands on experience and a much richer understanding of spectroscopy.

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Dermot outside the SFI Head Office at Wilton Place

Secondary school teachers who are interested in having Smart Futures or Spectroscopy in a Suitcase come to their schools should apply online (here and here).

Dermot teaches Leaving Certificate students spectroscopy with the RSC

Students measure the concentration of aspirin in a sample of "blood plasma" with a UV-vis spectrometer.

Students measure the concentration of aspirin in a sample of “blood plasma” with a UV-vis spectrometer.

Over the last few months, TG group member Dermot Gillen has been working with Dr John O’Donoghue Trinity’s RSC Education Coordinator  to bring applied chemistry to secondary schools. As part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme, Dermot has been helping Leaving Certificate students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instruments that are used in both research and forensics. The students work together in teams, using chemical principles and portable spectrometers to find out what killed the unfortunate Dr Green!

After the case has been solved, students learn and can ask questions about undergraduate study in science, career paths in STEM and postgraduate research in Trinity, including the work of the TG group. This week’s visit to Loreto College was the last such visit before the summer holidays. Dermot, Olan and Joana had the chance to run the session themselves in what was a great success!

Dermot, Olan and Joana with the girls from Loreto College.

Dermot (far right), Olan and Joana with the girls from Loreto College.

TG Group members win Science Week Quiz

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As part of the 20th Annual Science Week, SCI’s All-Ireland group hosted a table quiz in Doyles bar. The quiz was sponsored by Henkel, RSC and ICI.

Against stiff competition from other chemists from Trinity, UCD and various industrial chemists, the first prize was won by a team made up of TG Group members Amy Lynes, Dermot Gillen, Joe Byrne, Anna Aletti and Sam Bradberry.