04 Nov Why Is Chemistry A Good Subject?
Chemistry is much more than just studying the periodic table or balancing chemical equations; it is all around you!
The things you consume, the clothes you wear, the products you purchase are all products of chemistry. However, this is a subject that some students struggle with, as it requires problem-solving skills and memory work.
With that, they might consider forgoing studying chemistry to focus on other subjects. In this article, we will explore why chemistry is a good subject to undertake and understand its uses in the real world.
Understand the world better
Studying chemistry helps us uncover the reason behind what happens during natural processes. Why do leaves change colour when the season changes? Why does metal rust after a prolonged period of time? Every reaction in nature occurs due to chemistry.
With a good foundation and understanding of chemistry, we can understand the world better. An example would be daily news, such as a medical discovery, product recalls and air pollution. To what extent do we know what’s happening to the world around us?
Have you ever wondered why do we tear up when cutting onions? Simply because onion cells contain sulfenic acids and enzymes that are released when you start cutting it. Volatile sulfur compound gas is then produced, which is a mild acid that irritates the eye. Thus, we produce tears when cutting onions in order to wash away the irritant in our eye.
Chemistry allows you to make informed decisions
Understanding how chemistry works allows us to make more informed decisions.
One common example would be the food we ingest. Chemistry allows us to identify and eliminate heavily processed food quickly. Such as food colouring, artificial sweeteners and trans-fat. Craft a healthier and better meal plan for your diet with your chemistry knowledge. You will know which food additives are safe to eat and which to keep out of your diet.
Another example would be choosing your skincare products. Chemistry helps you understand how different ingredients react with each other, as well as the benefits of those products. This allows you to pick the best skincare products for your skin type.
Certain skincare brands use ‘chemical’ terms to describe their products and usage. These terminologies would seem foreign and confusing to those who do not take chemistry. Thus, with a strong understanding of chemistry, you have the upper hand in product knowledge.
Chemistry is by far, one of the most interactive and fun subjects. Compared to other mundane subjects where you study concepts through a textbook. There are lab lessons where you learn concepts by conducting various experiments. It allows you to understand the different chemical reactions when adding various elements or solutions together.
We can even conduct experiments outside of a school setting. We all have seen people experiment with putting mentos into a bottle of coke. Both a chemical and physical reaction, where the coke bottle erupts due to carbon dioxide bubbles, will ensue.
There are many exciting chemistry experiments you can do with everyday materials. Create chemistry projects that change colour, glow in the dark, change state or even produce bubbles. However, do take the necessary precautions before you embark on your chemistry project.
Besides food and product choices, chemistry helps us stay safe. There are times when we want to mix different products together for a more effective outcome. By studying chemistry, you will know which chemicals you should not mix. Certain household chemicals should never be mixed as it creates toxic chemical reactions.
An example would be mixing bleach and vinegar. Many would combine these two chemicals together to produce a more effective disinfectant. Mixing them is potentially dangerous as it creates a toxic chlorine gas. If you are exposed to a high concentration of chlorine gas, it could potentially give you a chemical burn. With lighter cases, it will make you cough and irritate your nose, eyes and mouth.
Understanding introductory chemistry can save many people’s lives when they are involved in such situations.
Cooking is Chemistry
Being good in chemistry can make you a better cook. All food is made of various chemical compounds, and cooking is the process of changing chemical bonds, playing around with oxidization, combustion, reduction and chemical reactions to create delicious food.
A common chemical reaction that involves cooking is called the Maillard reaction. It is the primary chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. This gives browned food its distinctive taste, such as toasted marshmallows steak, cookies, dumplings and many others. Most cooking techniques require some extent of Maillard reaction. For instance, frying, roasting, baking and searing.
If you have knowledge on the chemical reactions involved in cooking, such as thickening sauces, neutralizing acidity, chances are you’ll be a better cook.
It improves your analytical skills
Chemistry involves a lot of analysis and problem-solving skills. Learning chemistry will teach you how to be objective and learn how to reason. These skills apply to everything, even for other subjects like math, physics or biology.
Although you might not foresee yourself becoming a chemist in the future, chemistry has its charms and transferable skills to jobs outside of the subject. Every job requires you to analyse situations and solve complex problems objectively.
Not only is chemistry a relevant subject to many everyday situations, but it also helps us resolve problems in a rational way. Therefore, if you are struggling with chemistry in school, you should seek help from professional educators.
How TSA can help you ace Chemistry
The Science Academy’s approach to chemistry tuition has helped countless students not only improve their performance but also strengthen their passion for the subject. With over 20 years of combined experience, our science tutors are committed to helping our students get the most out of their science education and instil a lifelong love of science.