On Friday I had my last lesson with some lovely year 13 (upper sixth in old money) students who were about to go on study leave. They bought with them the rather fabulous cupcakes in the photos below. Now, I could talk about baking chemistry, but I’ve done that before so I won’t repeat myself. However as you can see they did a rather lovely job of icing. In fact I think they’ve gone above and beyond in covering a broad spectrum of chemistry. It’s really quite a nice revision aid. Perhaps eating the cake will somehow cause the information to be absorbed more effectively, who knows…
So in their honour, and just in case you can’t make any of the symbols out, I’m going to attempt to explain what each one is (by the way, links go to Chemguide, an excellent source if you need a bit of last-minute information):
From left to right:
- A Bunsen burner, heating a beaker of water.
- I couldn’t quite make this one out in the photo and couldn’t remember what they told me, but I’ve since been enlightened (see comments) – it’s vanillin! (This is doubly brilliant, because not only is vanilla a cake ingredient, but also vanillin is a phenolic aldehyde, thus covering two different bits of organic chemistry – fabulous!)
- The electronic configuration of potassium.
- A diazonium ion.
- A water molecule (that’s lost a lone pair, oops).
- A copper ion (and I particularly approve of their choice of icing colour for this).
- The equation to calculate pH.
- A diagram showing the delocalised electrons in benzene.
- Methanoic, or formic, acid.
- A conical (not chronicle 😉 ) flask
But wait, there’s more!!
Left to right again:
- A toxic symbol (better not eat that one).
- An optical isomer of a transition element complex.
- An expression for the equilibrium constant, Kc (upside down, sorry about that!)
- An argon atom, with a simple representation of electron arrangement.
- An expression to represent the concentration of H+ ions.
- An iron ion (again, particularly like the choice of icing colour – they’re smart this lot!)
- A random alkane shown skeletally (I don’t think there’s any particular significance in which one).
- The element symbols for calcium, potassium and einsteinium. Which spell, wait for it, CaKEs!
- The periodic table symbol for hydrogen.
So there we go, aren’t they great? Good luck to this lovely lot, and to all the other students out there about to tackle their final A2 exams. Wishing you all the best for the future! 🙂