Year 12 Chemistry Tour to Baxter Healthcare

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A lot of the time when we purchase a finished product we do not know or think of the different processes and steps involved in the conversion from the raw materials to the finished products.

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From Term 4 in 2015 until the end of Term 3 in 2016 HSC Chemistry students have studied four topics: “Production of Materials”, “The Acidic Environment”, “Chemical Monitoring and Management” and “Industrial Chemistry”. In these units students have gained an understanding of the requirements for the manufacturing of many different products. They have learned that the properties of the materials used in production need to be considered along with any environmental considerations. Monitoring of the manufacturing processes from the beginning to the end is important and if not done properly could become costly. The students have also learned how scientists need to work collaboratively with other disciplines in order for the business to be effective. The visit to Baxter Healthcare demonstrated all these principles to the Year 12 Chemistry students.

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The tour began with a welcome and a site introduction. The students were then given a tour of the plant where they “followed” the steps involved in the manufacturing of a product (I.V. Saline Solution) from the beginning of its production to its final dispatch. The tour also included a visit to the Quality Control Laboratories where the Head Chemist and Head Microbiologist described the different quality control tests that are conducted on a daily basis. Both parts of the tour emphasised the stringent care and control taken in all aspects of the manufacturing process.

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Although the tour focus was about the processes involved in manufacture and production the students learned of the commitment to environmentally conscious practices.

A big thank you to Baxter for hosting our students and providing a real world example of the application of science in industry.

Photos courtesy of Baxter Healthcare

Caroline O’Hare
Leader of Learning- Science