Chemistry Teachers Professional Development Day

Investigating Physical Properties of Diverse Materials, including organic compounds and polymers, and relating these to their structures.

Inviting you to our next VCE Chemistry Teachers Professional Learning Day

Prepare for the new VCE Chemistry Study Design by

  • Investigating physical properties of diverse materials, including organic compounds and polymers, and relating these to their structures
  • Applying properties of polymers, such as their densities and polarities, to identify them
  • Finding out more about plastics recycling
  • Obtaining advice about implementing Unit 1 Area of Study 3 in the new Study Design

The Victorian Chemical Education Committee of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) proudly invites you to

  • Update your knowledge of materials, with a focus on linking properties to their structures
  • Try out some great new STEM-based laboratory investigations in the labs at RMIT.
  • Obtain detailed notes on the investigations and possible extensions.
  • Learn about key new developments in the plastics recycling industry from an expert in the field.
  • Participate in a workshop on a key new aspect of the new Study Design with Maria James.
  • Network with other teachers – share resources and ideas.
  • Gain accreditation for your professional learning – receive a certificate.

Date: TUESDAY 31 MAY 2022

Time: 8.30 am to 3.30 pm

Venue: Building 12, Bowen Street, RMIT University City Campus

Cost: $ 150 Non-members; $ 125 RACI Members
(This includes COVID-safe catering, lab sessions, all materials and accreditation certificates.)


  • Christie O’Neill, Environmental Scientist, Plastics Recycling Educator, Replas Environmental Centre
  • Dr Lathe Jones, School of Science, RMIT University; Treasurer, RACI (Vic) Chemical Education Committee
  • Dr David Tonkin, Eltham College; Chair-Elect, RACI (Vic) Chemical Education Committee
  • Maria James, Curriculum Manager, Science, VCAA
  • Vanessa Jackson-McRae, Chair; Jenny Sharwood OAM, Secretary, RACI (Vic) Chemical Education Committee; and committee members Louise Macfarlane, Alex Colussa, Ash Lewis and Sheba Gurm


8.30 am – 8.55 am

COVID Check-in and Registration; distribution of workshop booklets 

9.00 am – 9.40 am

Welcome; Keynote Address: Christie O’Neill – Replas Environmental Centre

9.40 am – 9.55 am

Dr Lathe Jones – experimental instructions and demonstrations for Lab Session 1

10.05 am – 11.00 am

Lab session 1: Quantitative investigation of the melting points and hardness of diverse materials; separation and identification of polymers using their different densities

11.05 am – 11.35 am

Morning tea and mingle

11.35 am – 11.50 am

Discussion of the experimental findings and techniques for Lab Session 1, led by Dr Lathe Jones

11.50 am – 12.10 pm

Dr David Tonkin and Louise Macfarlane – experimental instructions and demonstrations for Lab Session 2

12.20 pm – 1.15 pm

Lab session 2: Quantitative investigation of the polarity of polymers using contact angles and application of the fluorescence of Nile Red dye to identify microplastics

1.20 pm – 2.00 pm

Luncheon and mingle – bring and share your ideas and helpful resources

2.00 pm – 2.20 pm

Discussion of the experimental findings and techniques for Lab Session 2, led by Dr David Tonkin and Louise Macfarlane

2.20 pm – 2.25 pm

Outline of RACI’s range of school programmes, competitions and resources – Jenny Sharwood

2.25 pm – 3.25 pm

Workshop on the research investigations involved in Unit 1 Area of Study 3, with Maria James

3.25 pm – 3.30 pm

Acknowledgements; distribution of accreditation certificates.



Numbers are strictly limited to 48 participants, so teachers are advised to book as soon as possible. Bookings and payments must be made before Friday 13 May. Once the event is filled, a waiting list will be kept. Registrations cannot be accepted after this date due to COVID restrictions. No children will be permitted at the venue. Confirmation of booking from RACI is required for attendance. Participants must comply with RMIT COVID-safe requirements. Instructions for this will be sent by email at least a week before the event.

Participants will receive further details, including what to bring on the day and a map showing where registration and the different sessions will take place, before the event.

5/31/2022 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
AUS Eastern Standard Time
Building 12 Bowen Street RMIT University City Campus Melbourne VIC 3054 AUSTRALIA

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