Science Centre Singapore and its group of attractions will remain closed until further notice.

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Wonder what goes into the making of a great perfume? Through the STEM Industrial Partnership Programme, teachers and students of Bartley Secondary School had the opportunity to visit Takasago International (Singapore) Pte Ltd and A*STAR Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) to understand more about the fragrance industry and fragrance innovation.

On 10 Feb 2017, Bartley Secondary School’s ALP team comprising the Principal, Mr Mohd Azhar, and 12 teachers visited Takasago Singapore’s office for an educators’ learning tour. The ALP team was greeted by Mr Shreedhar Iyer, Technical R&D Head for the Fragrance Division. Mr Shreedhar gave an introduction of Takasago and their businesses, and also presented some ideas on how Takasago and Bartley Secondary School can work together to introduce fragrance technology to the students. After the discussion, Mr Shreedhar brought the ALP team through a guided tour around Takasago’s labs. The teachers also interacted with Takasago scientists to learn about the different processes in fragrance formulation, and what courses students can take up at the post-secondary levels.

On 10 Mar 2017, 30 Secondary 2 and 3 students went for a learning journey at the Organic Chemistry lab at A*STAR ICES. The Organic Chemistry lab carries out research in pharmaceutical products and processes, and specialty chemicals (e.g. food additives, flavours and fragrances, etc), which was very relevant to Bartley’s ALP domain. The students were received by 2 research scientists, Dr. Alex Leung and Dr. Stanley Eey, and then broken up into two groups to tour the lab.

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Dr. Alex Leung explaining the science of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and how it is used to determine the molecular structure of an organic compound.

Dr. Eey took charge of the guided tour and introduced a few standard lab and analysis machines, such as glove box, rotary evaporator, and liquid and gas chromatography mass spectrometers. Dr. Leung led the presentation segment where he went through the functions and some basic scientific concepts of the lab machines, followed by a short Q&A session. Students also got a chance to don on lab coats and pretend to be a “real’ scientist during the lab tour.

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Dr. Stanley Eey introducing the rotary evaporator, which is used for gentle, efficient removal of solvents from samples by means of evaporation, to the students

The students ended their visit with a group photo outside the lab. The experiential learning journey at A*STAR ICES has enabled students to gain a better insight of how a research environment is like and the importance of R&D in fragrance innovation.

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Group photo at A*STAR ICES, Organic Chemistry

Written By: Siah Pei Shan