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Year 10 student, Hannah Tappin’s interest in chemistry helped her to make the decision to choose Briar Chemicals for work experience week.

Studying at Aylsham High School, Hannah is preparing for her upcoming GCSE’s including triple science – chemistry, biology and physics. She also has a keen interest in other sciences, law and business studies.

Hannah decided to pursue her interest in chemistry after a Futures Day held at her school; helping pupils look at the career opportunities available.

As a House Vice President at Aylsham High School, she plays a key role organising events including a speech to the forthcoming Year 7 students about the school. Hannah is also a Ranger, a member of the Girlguiding UK for girls aged between 14 and 25 and enjoys playing in football and rounder’s tournaments for her school.

Hannah joined Briar Chemicals for a week in July before the end of summer term, working closely with the analysts and chemists in the laboratory. She undertook some routine analysis for one of the products and on trade effluent samples, including preparation of High Performance Liquid Chromatography standards and subsequent analysis of the data for regulatory reporting.

Work experience in Briar Chemicals' laboratory
Work experience in Briar Chemicals’ laboratory

Hannah was keen to learn more about the environmental controls on site and visited the effluent treatment plant where rainwater run-off is collected and tested.

Hannah said:

I like the practical side of chemistry; being in the laboratory and looking at samples is really interesting.

Lee Gerrard, Analytical Manager at Briar Chemicals said: “Work experience is a very useful exercise for students with an interest in the sciences. Spending time at Briar offers a real life experience of what it is like to work in a chemical manufacturing plant and to put into practise what areas of chemistry have been covered in the schools curricula”.

We try to make it as interesting as possible for the students, giving them a chance to get involved with a wide range of activities carried out on site.

Briar Chemicals hosted a visit from a group of sixth form students as part of the Annual Engineering Summer School programme organised by the University of East Anglia. Hannah joined the students, along with Nathan Spencer who is currently undertaking his work placement from Loughborough University, for a tour of the site and career advice talk.

There are excellent future opportunities for pupils who study chemistry, offering a wide range of careers in the chemical manufacturing, energy and health sectors.