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Have you ever wondered how your medicine is made? How sunblock protects you from UV rays? What materials are used to make plastic? How is the casing of your laptop or cell phone so strong?
Chemistry, according to Merriam-Webster, is the “science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo.” Learning chemistry means exploring what makes up our world, and how the basic elements of our planet combine to create new and innovative things. The study of chemistry often intersects with biology, which deals with the life sciences.
Often called the “central science,” Chemistry connects all the sciences to one another: environmental science, biology, geology, and physics, just to name a few. Chemistry encompasses all areas of our everyday lives, from the food we eat to the gas we put into our cars and buses. From this perspective, it’s not hard to see why chemistry education is foundational to careers in so many industries.
When you picture a chemist, you are probably imagining a serious professional in a white coat and protective eyewear, fussing over beakers, test tubes, and flaming bunsen burners. While this may be true for some chemists, chemistry actually enters into our daily lives in numerous ways without us knowing, both at work and at home. Studying chemistry will lead you to a better understanding of how substances interact with one another and in different temperatures, whether you are cooking a meal, choosing a headache medication, or looking to understand the impact of pollution on a local shoreline. Let's learn more about what so many students love about chemistry.
Perhaps you are interested in what causes aspirin to relieve pain, or what natural alternatives there are to thyroid management. If your passion lies in the area of traditional Western medicine or naturopathic healing, chemistry is a foundational element of your learning. More than ever we witness the importance of professionals in the pharmaceutical and natural medicine industry, with high demand for new vaccines and treatments. Getting those secondary or university courses in Chemistry, online or face-to-face, will get you started in some of the most important and lucrative industries in the world.
Do you love problem-solving? Research? Creating and innovating new things? A background in chemistry or chemical engineering can lead you to a rewarding profession in manufacturing and product development, helping companies to develop materials that can be turned into the latest new offering on store shelves. Many of the products we take for granted are a result of applied chemistry: motor oil, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning products, glue, markers, and ink, just to name a few.
Maybe you have always had an issue with scented cleaners or moisturizers, or you’d like to see a world filled with less pollutants. Chemistry is definitely the pathway you should take to create a better world!
We don’t often think of our kitchens as labs, but in truth chemistry is happening when we cook on a daily basis. Boiling, blending, heating, and freezing are just a few actions that happen both in the kitchen and the lab, though in the kitchen we perform these actions to transform different ingredients into new foods. For example, the combination of heat (+140 degrees C), amino acid, and a reducing sugar results in the Maillard reaction, or the “browning” of food. This chemical reaction is responsible for a roast beef dinner and the browning of bread into toast.
While studying chemistry may not necessarily make you a better cook, you will surely be more prepared to undertake a career in food processing or you will at least be more scientifically attuned to your breakfast preparation!
So how do you get started in the study and research of chemistry? If you are still in high school and working on your Certificate of Graduation, or Dogwood Diploma, you can get ahead and enrol in chemistry courses so you have your grade 12 or AP credit on hand to apply for colleges and universities. No need to fret if you're busy or working full-time, you can find plenty of options online!
If you happen to be out of high school and are looking for a career change or want to upgrade your courses, check out the Vancouver School Board for options for taking chemistry. Already have a specific post-secondary program selected? Check your chosen school’s options for equivalency credits for another pathway into your future.
Not sure where to start? Check out degree programs in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia or Simon Fraser University. Both UBC and Simon Fraser are some of the best schools for getting a postsecondary education in Canada, and you may want to consider adding a biology major to your coursework. If college is more your thing, Langara, Douglas College, or Vancouver Community College have plenty of options. In any school, you can look forward to building your network with the many students who share your passion for science.
If you are already enrolled in a high school or post secondary credit class and need a boost in your learning, be sure to check out your options for a private tutor. Superprof is a great education resource for finding someone who can work with your schedule and specific learning needs.
Why hire a tutor? Chemistry is a challenging subject with plenty of nomenclature to memorize, and having a guide with extensive background knowledge can be an incredible way to support your learning. Imagine having a big exam or a project for a course that can make or break your way into the professional program of your dreams, and feeling overwhelmed. Having a chemistry tutor at your side to help you prepare is truly an investment in your future. They can share with you the tips and tricks they used to get through their studies.
We all have different learning styles, and the “one-size-fits-all” approach to lecture based learning in university may be insufficient when it comes to achieving success in school. While TAs can help, you will likely be competing for their time and attention alongside other students in your course. A tutor can work with your greatest needs and strengths, and tailor sessions that enable you to maximize your coursework.
So what are you waiting for? Start checking out chemistry tutors on Superprof today!
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