All the niche moments from GCSE science that altered your brain chemistry

Justice required for those who face planted with the drunk goggles on

With the combination of unhinged teenagers, dangerous equipment and sometimes even fire, it is understandable that GCSE science lessons were some of the most iconic and memorable classes of the secondary school experience. Whether you had a teacher who enjoyed dissecting animals a little too much, or a classmate who liked to flirt just a little with pyromania, these classes provided at least one brain-altering experience for every student.

The serotonin from a double science lesson on a Friday has simply never been matched in adult life, and a lot of students would do anything to go back to their happy place (aka a classroom haven that stinks of gas and glue sticks). Here is a collection of moments from GCSE science that all students can relate to.

The Bunsen burner

The icon, legend and pièce de résistance of any science classroom is of course the Bunsen burner. Despite schools using this mighty piece of equipment as open-day bait for the year sixes to ogle at, it caused all kinds of classroom trauma that they would later discover.

First up is the smell, which rumour has it never truly leaves your nostrils even years after leaving. This beast managed to fumigate the entire science block, making it impossible to walk the corridors without it putting you off your lunch. Second is the weird obsession with running your hands through the orange flame, which in year seven is possibly the first dance with danger you’ve ever experienced. And finally, is the pure devilish excitement of leaving all of the gas taps on until your teacher screams (and in some cases cries) for you to turn them off. Nothing truly says British humour like secondary school kids trying to gas out a classroom.


Over the five years of secondary school, you will never hear a teacher scream louder than when you take your goggles off during an ‘experiment’. Touching a test tube? Goggles on. Handling metal? Goggles on. Just existing? Goggles on. The strange power-trip science teachers got from enforcing the wear of these head strangling pests was honestly ridiculous. The worst part of it all was they would leave marks that would take at least three hours to fade, leaving your dream matte mousse smeared and your hopes of Ben from history adding you on snapchat diminished.

Back breaking stools

To make an already long day worse, schools decided that seat backs were out and stools were in. Who needs basic comfort anyway? Perhaps this was their way of punishing us for the hours of chaos that would take place within the science rooms. After an hour of sitting in these chairs, the entire class was slumped and miserable. Of course there were always those students who would insist of cracking their backs at every opportunity, and would find new and creative ways to crunch their back on the stools.

Dissecting random organs

Probably the most disturbing part of science was the random lesson where it was deemed acceptable to let a room of teens dissect organs. It is still baffling how this was approved, and why we even needed to do this. A true anomaly in the school experience where even the strongest amongst the bunch were gagging.

No drinking rules

In a similar style to the goggle dictatorship is the strict no drinking rules. If you were even to dare take a sip of your water during class then expect a ten minute lecture on the risk of being poisoned and dying from the chemicals in the room. The tedious walk to step outside the classroom for a drink was a long and humbling venture whilst your classmates judged your Yazoo flavour as you passed their desk.

Faking practical results

When it was a practical lesson that meant it was time to have a laugh with your mates, as you try to create the most disruption with whatever tools you had been provided with. Whether you were threatening to set fire to a classmates blazer or snapping their goggle strap against the back of their head, there certainly was not much science taking place. That meant when it came to recording your results you had to get inventive, stealing answers from the one serious group in the class who were definitely considering studying biomed at Oxford.

Weekly tests

As a way to control the chaos, teachers would constantly hand out mini exams for students to complete (and perhaps so they could have some peace). Now after spending the past month of lessons messing around, when being met with questions about Fleming’s rule or osmosis, you were utterly clueless. It wasn’t an unfamiliar sight to see a couple E’s on science papers, but you didn’t care as it was worth it for the memories.

Drunk glasses

Whether it was to warn students of the dangers of drinking or simply a sadistic way of humiliating the louder and more challenging students, the science teacher’s favourite hidden weapon was the drunk goggles. There was nothing funnier than watching your friend stumble across the room as these glasses sent their mind into a spin. A couple kids were known to face plant, which they wouldn’t live down for at least a year.

David Attenborough documentaries

By Christmas time, science teachers were defeated and their sanity was left hanging by a thread. The only solution to a near breakdown was to distract the class with an outdated David Attenborough documentary that was very, very loosely linked to the exam content. This was the ultimate sign of giving up and therefore the best opportunity for you and your mates to kick back and have a gossip.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

If you can’t pass this general GCSE knowledge quiz, hand back every qualification you have

• If you can’t pass this basic SATs quiz it’s official: You’re dumber than a 10-year-old