The Department's love of practical work stretches well beyond lessons and you will have plenty of opportunities for fun investigations beyond the scope of the courses taught.
Chemistry Club is run by Mr Horrocks for S1 to S3 pupils. Highlights are flaming pumpkins, "perfect poo", flaming fire writing and Gaviscon worms. The Salters' Festival of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow provides a culmination for the four most dedicated S1 pupils to compete in each May. In 2011 the team won the "University Challenge" aspect of this.
BA CREST Awards
Pupils who have enjoyed Chemistry Club have the opportunity to work with Mrs Hunter in the Advanced Higher lab on investigations of their choice in order to gain Bronze and Silver BA CREST Awards. Topics have included rainbows, fireworks, a gunpowder canon, volcanoes, soap, washing detergents, a fire-breathing dragon and extracting gold from unwanted circuit boards.
Structures Club is run by Dr Main for S1 to S6 pupils. The Young Engineers and Science Clubs Technology Challenge provides a focus for the club. In 2015-2016 they worked on the Go Forth Challenge and for 2016-2017 are working on the Construct a Crane Challenge.
Top of the Bench
Mr Horrocks runs the training for the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Top of the Bench" competition. Initially there are rounds between Glasgow schools and then a National Final, which Glasgow Academy pupils have attended on several occasions now.
Research Club is run by Dr Marshall for S4 to S6 pupils and is a continuation of Chemistry Club. The current focus is the Schools Collaborative Crystal Chemistry Project run by the University of Glasgow and The Glasgow Academy pupils did discover a new polymorph of calcium formate. The St Andrews SCIS Chemistry Master Class and Heriot Watt Analyst Contest also link to this and are a fantastic opportunity for pupils to exhibit their practical skills in a competitive context.
Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad
Dr Marshall runs the training for the Royal Society of Chemistry's prestigious Olympiad. This provides an avenue for pupils displaying much intellectual ambition in Chemistry, but also for academically able pupils applying for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine.
Each year outstanding Glasgow Academy pupils are encouraged to contact academic staff at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde to secure a summer placement and then apply for a Nuffield Bursary. Successful pupils spend a summer being paid to work in a university research environment and prepare conference posters explaining their investigations, which are displayed at the annual Celebration Event in Edinburgh. Pupils often enter their work for a Gold BA CREST Award and in 2011 Jason Long won a trip to LA at the "Big Bang" event in London.
Mark Andrew Engineering Club
Mark Andrew ran the very successful Engineering Club for many years until his death in October 2016. Dr Main and Mr Horrocks in partnership with THALES STEM are to carry this club on in Mark's memory and it's open for S1 to S6 pupils, but several P7 pupils have also been valuable members. Pupils work on a variety of projects of their choice, which they request funding for and write reports on the completion of their projects. These have included the Junior Saltire Award, Rampaging Chariots, Scalextric 4 Schools, 4x4 Technology Challenge, a taser and a whole range of electronic kits. Trips have also been organised to Whitelee wind farm, Hunterston B nuclear power station, the Forth Road Bridge, Commonwealth Games velodrome, Hadron Collider Roadshow and the annual Scottish Robotic Games at Leonardo in Edinburgh.