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      Chemistry courses for kids

      Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the composition, structure and properties of various substances, the transformations and reactions they undergo, and the energy & substances that may be released or absorbed as a result. It is also a subject of study that a student may elect usually for the final 3 years of high school. For example, in Hong Kong under the Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE), chemistry is taught from Secondary 4-6. Under the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) for non-UK based students or the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) for students in the UK, chemistry is a subject taught to students in grades 9-10/Year 10-11. Chemistry is similarly taught under the O Levels (which stands for Ordinary Level, for 14-16 year olds) and the A Levels (which stands for Advanced Level, for 16-18 year olds) which are subject based qualifications under the General Certificate of Education (GCE) in the UK. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program includes science courses including chemistry from the Middle Years Programme onwards (11-16 years), and this is usually taught in an interdisciplinary manner where concepts and skills from two or more science disciplines may be merged. Under the IB Diploma Programme (16-19 years), chemistry is one of the three natural sciences and is included in Group 4 subjects. It may be taught at a standard level (150 hours) as well as the higher level (240 hours).

      Every activity that sustains life on the planet takes place only because of the chemical properties of the atoms, molecules and compounds involved. Biological processes of living organisms depend upon the interactions of the atoms, molecules and compounds that make up living tissues and the environment in which life takes place. Given the breadth of what chemistry may encompass, it’s easiest to understand it broken into five main branches which include physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. These branches can be further subdivided into specialties such as quantum chemistry, spectroscopy, photochemistry, forensic chemistry, geochemistry, nuclear chemistry. Some of most well known areas at the forefront of current research includes cellular changes due to aging, growing synthetic food, the evolution of artificial organs. There is just so much subject matter for students to sink their teeth into and get excited about.

      The benefits of chemistry courses for youth include

      • improving academic performance in chemistry subject matter
      • increasing engagement levels and confidence in chemistry as a speciality course
      • enhancing cognitive development
      • allowing a student to determine if chemistry as a knowledge area interests them sufficiently to suggest further studies at university or even a career that involves applying chemistry knowledge might be warranted