Careers in Chemistry:

Since chemistry is a central science because of its multidisciplinary nature students can pursue careers in the fields of industry, education, research work, government agencies and other non traditional fields. These careers include:

  •  Pharmaceutical/drug development
  • Science education
  • Patent law/Intellectual property
  • Mining and Metallurgy
  • Science journalism
  • Computer and Telecommunications
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Chemical analysis/forensic science
  • Chemical synthesis

A chemist’s role could be concerned with quality control of products; management; industrial hygiene; manufacturing; process control; research and development; environmental protection; and technical sales and service. Chemists are also hired by federal, provincial, and municipal government agencies in the areas of education (at all levels); public health;forensic investigation; water and air quality protection; mineral analysis; waste management, development of technical and analytical information; and research and development in the primary sectors of energy,mining, forestry and agriculture).

Chemistry Requirements

1). Do EACH of the following:

  • Describe three examples of safety equipment used in a chemistry laboratory and the reason each one is used.
  • Describe what a safety data sheet (SDS) is and tell why it is used.
  • Obtain an SDS for both a paint and an insecticide. Compare and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these two common household products.
  • Discuss the safe storage of chemicals. How does the safe storage of chemicals apply to your home, your school, your community, and the environment?

2). Do ONE of the following:

  • Predict what would happen if you placed an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Then, put an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Describe your observations and make a conclusion based on your observations. Compare your prediction and original conclusion with what actually happened. Write the formula for the reaction that you described.
  • Describe how you would separate sand from water, table salt from water, oil from water, and gasoline from motor oil. Name the practical processes that require these kinds of separations.
  • Construct a Cartesian diver. Describe its function in terms of how gases in general behave under different pressures and different temperatures. Describe how the behavior of gases affects a backpacker at high altitudes and a scuba diver underwater.

3). Do ONE of the following:

  • Describe the chemical similarities and differences between toothpaste and an abrasive household cleanser. Explain how the end use or purpose of a product affects its chemical formulation.
  • In a clear container, mix a half-cup of water with a tablespoon of oil. Explain why the oil and water do not mix. Find a substance that will help the two combine, and add it to the mixture. Describe what happened, and explain how that substance worked to combine the oil and water.
  • List the four classical divisions of chemistry. Briefly describe each one, and tell how it applies to your everyday life.

4). Do EACH of the following:

Name two government agencies that are responsible for tracking the use of chemicals for commercial or industrial use. Pick one agency and brie y describe its responsibilities to the public and the environment.

Describe air pollution. Explain the chemical effects of ozone, global warming, and acid rain. Pick a current environmental problem as an example. Briefly describe what people are doing to resolve this hazard and to increase understanding of the problem.

1). Using reasons from chemistry, describe the effect on the environment of ONE of the following:

2)  The production of aluminum cans or plastic milk cartons

3)  Sulfur from burning coal

4)  Used motor oil

5)  Newspaper

  1. Briefly describe the purpose of phosphates in fertilizer and in laundry detergent. Explain how the use of phosphates in fertilizers affects the environment. Also, explain why phosphates have been removed from laundry detergents.
  2. Do ONE of the following:
    • Visit a laboratory and talk to a practicing chemist. Ask what the chemist does and what training and education are needed to work as a chemist.
    • Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent’s permission), learn about two different kinds of work done by chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, or industrial chemists. For each of the four positions, find out the education and training requirements.
    • Visit an industrial plant that makes chemical products or uses chemical processes and describe the processes used. What, if any, pollutants are produced and how are they handled?