Alvin! Aaron! Chern Wei! Wai Lumn! Liang En! Yong Zi! Adrian! Katrina! Niklas! Jane! Irvin! Chia Ming! Kai Herng! Jaime! Sean! Benjamin! Shir Li! Andrew! Jin Rong! Miao Jing! Soon Huat!


Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Of Science Practical Assessment Skills/Teacher in Charge

Many a time immemorial have passed since I've posted anything, and since I don't feel like doing any work anytime soon, I have decided to bestow upon y'all the wisdom of.. something, so wise, that it's wisdom has practically become so great it reached positive infinity, wrapped around to negative infinity, then it sorta stopped being so great and currently resides somewhere close there. Yup.

As always; Disclaimer: The author rejects and returns all attempts to sue, hate, or generally harm his person via collect calls. By reading on you agree and accept that you completely and utterly believe the total plausibility of such phenomenon. All situations are entirely hypothetical, any resemblance to real life events are mere figments of your imagination. Any further contemplation will likely cause spontaneous combustion of your brain. It is strongly advised to shut down any cognitive functions before continuing to protect your neurons from corruption.

How to do SPA Skill A.

SPA skill A is meant to assess a student's capability of adapting to new situations and devising ingenious plans to solve real life problems.

A highly likely scenario is that a researcher forgets to label his 5 bottles and conveniently mixes up 5 organic compounds. Happens all the time. Of course, it's just one of many other equally possible scenarios. This is when SPA SKILL A comes in handy, for fret not, he can solve this problem using what he learnt!

Firstly, one must not use the NMR machine. No doubt it will work. But. It just isn't done. There might be electricity wasted.

Then, one must write out on a paper what one plans to do, in case one forgets.
It is essential to write out exactly what one is planning. Like so, Aim: To identify 5 unknown organic compounds. This is important, in case one forgets what one was doing.

Then, draw out all the unknown compounds. Along with their scientific name. And functional groups. With a neat table. Drawings must be in pencil. Failure to do all this might result in inability to identify the compounds.

Next, a flowchart is necessary to visualise the process of identification. All steps must be written out, even though they're fairly standard. Abbreviations cannot be used, 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine must be spelled out completely, lest it confuses you on what exactly is being added. Conditions need to be written too, because it's highly possible for someone to accidentally carry out the test at 200 atm instead of room pressure, especially since they're standard tests. Also, one should not eliminate choices. After identifying 4 out of 5 compounds, it's essential to have a positive test for the last compound. This is due to murphy's law, which tells us that somehow a 6th unknown chemical might have ended up among the other 5.

Subsequently, it is important to write out exactly what is happening in each step. After all, it's not enough that one knows that a test is going to work. One must know WHY it works. The lack of this knowledge might result in failure to identify the compounds. Not only must one know the general reaction, one must know what the reaction is called, why it will react, and what the product looks like.

Now, write out exactly what to do. And what one will see. AND problems with your experiment. If you don't have any problems, it's a bad experiment. After all, scientific breakthroughs are made through errors. So be sure to include horrible mess ups in your procedure, which you must then talk about.

Finally, write some gentle reminders to yourself about how dangerous the compounds are, and that one should not spill it onto oneself, pour it down the sink, or other things which are standard lab procedures. One might forget, afterall.


Ew, i think my crapping skills have deteoriated. Shall not write about skill D =x


  1. Hmm ... so all attempts to sue, hate, or generally harm the author's person are allowed as long as collect calls are not used?

  2. Hahaha. That was real funny. And if deteriorating crapping skills = better ability to understand post, then your crapping skills have deteriorated...

  3. no, as in the author will return, all attempts to sue/blah, via collect calls.