Chemicals and Bard did not mix

29th October 2004 at 01:00
You succeeded in perpetuating the ancient British tradition of overstating a literary education at the expense of one based on the natural sciences (TES, October 8).

In the feature extolling the virtues of sixth-form colleges you correctly quoted from Act 1 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet "O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" The second exclamation mark is not in my collected works. Such is poetic licentiousness.

The equation for the reaction of magnesium with sulphuric acid was thankfully correct. However, never in my 40 years of studying and teaching chemistry have I met C2H6 (ethane, a gas) floating in a test tube containing CHCl3 (chloroform, a liquid, and a scheduled poison).

I can understand the bit about the torches but I need some illumination on the test tube!

Dr Barrie Crowther

12 Kirton Way

Cramlington, Northumberland

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now