Chemistry of medicines

For Year 10 science

In this hands-on and fun workshop students apply covalent bonding principles to the design of medicines. Students will build complex 3D molecules and use web-based tools and 3D models to visualise the importance of molecular shape and drug specificity.  Students also get to participate in team activities that allow them to attempt to solve the challenges faced by pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacists every day.


  • Monash University, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, 3052


  • At your school (we require a classroom with a projector and tables suitable for team work)


  • 1-2 hrs


  • Best for a class of maximum 25 students


  • Flexible with days and times, availability subject to room access at our Parkville campus

Recommended prior knowledge

  • Atomic Structure
  • Covalent bonding

Year 10 curriculum content explored

  • Covalent bonding in organic molecules
  • Importance of key elements in organic molecules
  • Representations of molecules
  • The importance of receptor and medicine specificity

Extension ideas explored

  • The molecular structures of common medicines
  • Rational drug design in pharmaceutical research
  • Real-world problems faced by pharmaceutical scientists
  • The roles and skills of pharmacists in the health care system

Key skills developed

  • Problem solving
  • Team work
  • Communication
  • Application of content to new contexts

Key activities and interactive challenges

Subject to time restraints

  • Molecule building
  • Examination of 3D receptors through models and web-based tools
  • Drug design problem solving challenge (in teams)
  • Hospital pharmacist communication and problem solving challenge (in teams)
Interested?  Contact us to find out more or book in a workshop for your class.