The High School Science Department at Chattanooga Christian School (CCS) recently secured a Hach grant from the American Chemical Society—the third Hach grant the department has been award ed in the last five years. The Hach grant funds resources, activities, and lab equipment for high school chemistry classes.
This year, as the CCS Science Department teachers and students settle into new, state-of-the-art science labs, the department used the Hach grant funds to purchase three polarimeters.
A polarimeter is a device that is used to study chiral molecules. These chiral molecules behave as though they possess a handedness, either right-handed or left-handed. The left handed version of the molecule is the mirror image of the right handed version, and because their structures are so similar, it can be difficult to distinguish between them. One of the few ways in which they differ is the way in which they interact with a specific kind of light. A polarimeter is used to distinguish between right and left handed versions of chiral molecules. This science finds an application in medicine; many medications have chiral structures. One structure is beneficial to the body, while the mirror image form can be poisonous, so being able to tell the difference is important.
In addition to the polarimeters acquired through the American Chemical Society’s Hach grant, the CCS Science Department was also recently gifted two spectrometers by microLAB Inc.
“It is our desire,” said CCS Chemistry and AP Physics teacher, Dr. Dan Zuidema, “that as they use various types of instrumentation, students will learn both the scientific principles behind how the instruments work, as well as how instrumental analysis and data processing are some of the most important tools available to scientists. God has provided for our department in so many ways over the years, and we are thankful to add these events to the ways in which He has provided for our needs.”