Chemistry & Natural Sciences Personal Statement Example

Technology steers the direction of history for better or for worse. I have always loved the limitless possibilities chemistry has, being able to design so many materials with such useful properties. However, looking back on some past discoveries with hindsight and seeing all the chemicals that have been detrimental to the world and the people on it makes me want to be a key factor in its safe development for future generations.

Despite this I believe research into the edge of what is known can allow for new ways of thinking about the world or create innovations that will change the ways we live our lives and this makes me want to pursue further study to widen my perspective. The environment has been harmed greatly but I believe not beyond repair, and so I've always had a passion for sustainability. When I was 15, I took apart our broken washing machine to recycle parts to reduce waste sent to landfill and it was satisfying to discover how it worked. This then later led me to set up my own solar panel to store power in a battery pack.

During this independent project I researched the chemistry of photolytic and lead-acid batteries so I could better understand the process I was putting into practice. I really enjoyed this project as it allowed me to see the useful effects of chemistry in a tangible way and I developed my critical thinking skills while making a frame to secure the hanging panel outside. Another technology that has excited me, is the potential of finding enzymes that could be used to replace rare or expensive catalysts to make chemical processes more environmentally friendly. I was interested to read an article on using computational chemistry to predict how proteins fold. The possibility of being able to use computers to help optimise the research into a new protein's properties showed endless possibilities a career in science could bring.

I enjoyed doing a MOOC on everyday chemistry as I wanted to better understand chemicals we interact with daily. The section I liked most was on resonance of molecules and the way they seem to cycle through forms, which made me question my own knowledge on the structure of molecules as I originally thought of molecules as stable structures. During further research into this I read the book 'Why Chemical Reactions Happen'. Getting into the fundamentals of chemistry was very interesting as it showed concepts I recognized while challenging my previous knowledge, which I found very engaging.

I was particularly enthused by the chapters on electron orbitals as the concept of multiple wave functions adding together to form new wave functions that correspond to bonds between atoms amazed me and my perspective on molecules changed; they were no longer exact objects, rather dynamic continuous processes. This brief touch on physics made me feel multidisciplinary insight into a subject is required to gain a full understanding of a subject. To this effect I'm currently teaching myself the AS-Further Maths course so I can develop my problem-solving skills and become more confident with using multiple concepts in difficult problems to reach a logical answer.

The importance of multidisciplinary science was demonstrated to me when I read an article on artificial cells, and how biochemists were able to create artificial cells with human curated genomes that can divide into stable daughter cells. The prospect of 'programmable' cells makes me uneasy, as the destruction a maliciously engineered cell could cause would be catastrophic, but the positive applications in almost every industry still make me want to be able to understand this potential innovation.

As I love to do independent projects, I feel my independent learning style has prepared me for university learning. As well, I believe my passion to learn more and drive to excel in the subject will allow me to make the most of this opportunity to expand my knowledge and help make new discoveries that can go some way to help humanity's problems.

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