Chemistry / Mātai Matū

Ahatoa he iti he pounamu

Despite being small you are of great value

This can apply to the individuals who make up communities, such every ākonga in our Chemistry classes, and also to atoms, which are the foundation of Chemistry and make up all the matter in the universe. 

In te reo Māori, matū means matter, hence our Maori name for Chemistry, mātai matū; to inspect or look closely at matter. Chemistry is the study of the structure and properties of matter and how and why atoms and molecules react to form new substances. 

Chemistry is often thought of as the central science because it interlinks and contributes to Physics, Biology, Earth Science and Astronomy.

Knowledge of Chemistry and the atomic world provides an excellent scientific basis for understanding the world around us. Chemistry has a key role in solving many of today’s global challenges in health, environmental sustainability, energy and engineering.

Our courses allow students to develop an understanding of and use the fundamental concepts in Chemistry, such as the structure and bonding of matter, thermochemistry and equilibrium. Students have the opportunity to develop their practical skills through regular experimental work to investigate the physical and chemical properties of different substances. We look at how chemistry concepts link to the real-world and how Chemistry is used to meet the needs of society and develop new technologies.

The Chemistry department is passionate about their fascinating subject and supports students to develop the problem-solving, communication and numeracy skills necessary for success.