Bristol ChemLabS hosts RSC chemistry competition
31 March 2011
Bristol ChemLabS played host to the regional finals of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools Analytical Chemistry Competition earlier this month.
Thirteen schools from the northern section of the South West of England sent teams of three Year 12 students to the ever-popular practical chemistry competition. The young chemists spent four hours engaged in hands-on exercises that tested their practical as well as their teamwork and time management skills.
Teams were required to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs, and designed to promote teamwork and safety in the laboratory. Teams were judged on the skill, understanding and accuracy with they undertook the exercises. Some tasks, such as titrations, were relatively familiar to the students, while others, such as spectrophotometry, were more unfamiliar. The aim was for competitors to learn new skills, as well as demonstrate their existing knowledge, skill and aptitude for analytical science.
During the event, Tim Harrison, Bristol ChemLabS School Teacher Fellow, presented a lecture demonstration on Perfume Chemistry. Postgraduates Amy Styring, Ben Cheesman, Aimee Boyle and Tai Miah from the School of Chemistry assisted the students in the labs.
A panel of judges headed up by Dr Jenny Unsworth, a trainee patent attorney with Hepworth Browne in Bristol, scored the schools’ submissions. The winning team came from Colston’s Collegiate School, with Backwell School, last year’s winners, coming a close second. The Colston’s Collegiate team will go on to the national finals at Reading University in June, where prizes will range from £750 for the winners to £100 for each participating team.
The other schools represented were Bishop Wordsworth’s CoE Grammar School for Boys, Blundells, Bristol Grammar School, Castle School, Cheltenham College, Clifton High School, Cotswold School, Dauntsey’s, Katherine Lady Berkeley School, Redland Green School, Redland High and Taunton School.