I have always enjoyed science and maths, but it is chemistry, with all its..... that truly fascinates me. In my studies to date I particularly enjoy ............ I am currently enjoying John Emsley’s ‘Nature’s Building Blocks’; it’s been a revelation and I particularly like the ‘elements of surprise’! In June, I was delighted to secure a place on the only Headstart course to focus solely on chemistry at Newcastle University; it was a truly memorable experience. The opportunity to experience chemistry teaching at a higher level only served to confirm that chemistry was the subject for me. I enjoyed working in the undergraduate labs using equipment such as a colorimeter to find the accurate percentage of copper in an alloy and an IR spectrometer to analyse an ester. To help me understand where a degree in chemistry could take me, I have had two work placements in the last year. In December, I spent a week at Cargill plc, an international food and agricultural company. Whilst there I worked alongside undergraduates from Manchester University in quality control testing sulphur dioxide levels in glucose and also in the wheat plant producing pure flour and bran. In June I spent a week at Crawford Healthcare, a company specialising in dermatology and woundcare products. As well as gaining a general understanding of the business, I worked in the labs testing a range of bandages and their respective absorption levels. I was also able to work independently fulfilling orders and dealing with customers requiring patch tests and skin care products; I really enjoyed working under the pressure of deadlines as part of a team. I am proud to have achieved both bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards. After completing my voluntary work providing refreshments at our local Church, I decided to continue volunteering as I enjoyed the responsibility and mixing with different people. My commitment led to me being offered paid employment by the Church in August 2011 as the church hall caretaker, a role in which I have proved myself to be reliable and hardworking. In school I help to run the science club.....sharing my enthusiasm for science with younger pupils whilst ensuring they work safely. I have been elected by my form members to the 6th Form council and played a significant role in designing the new 6th form common room; the whole experience taught me how to listen to the views of others and communicate my views in a clear way. Outside school I play a lot of tennis and golf, and I am a passionate Middlesbrough FC supporter. I also enjoy music and play the keyboard to grade 5 level. My week at university gave me a taste of life after school; I enjoyed everything about it, the intellectual challenge, meeting students and staff, and experiencing chemistry `hands-on`. Most of all, I felt ‘at home’ in the labs and could envisage a career working in a lab or in a chemical based company.