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Competition inspires local scientists

Stockport School students came first in the 2023 Science Competition

During the last week of the Summer term, Stockport Grammar School hosted its annual Science Competition which challenged 44 Fourth Year pupils from 11 local high schools.

The scientists competed in groups of four with each team taking on the name of a famous scientist to complete hour-long tasks in each of the sciences.

In Biology, the sustainability of the use of antibiotics in the future was investigated through a practical looking at the susceptibility of a species of bacteria to a range of antibiotics.

The Physics department tasked the competitors with constructing an electromagnet. The electromagnets were then used to transfer paperclips from one bowl, across a fixed distance, to another on a mass balance.

The Chemistry task had two aspects. Firstly, the teams had to find out what proportion of a polylactide sample had degraded to lactic acid by titration against sodium hydroxide. Secondly, with a water sample that had been polluted with the catalyst for making polylactides, they had to carry out a reaction to create a precipitate followed by a reduced pressure filtration, to determine the aluminium concentration.

The level of competition was high and the results were very close. Overall victors were ‘Team Mendeleev’ from Stockport School, second place went to ‘Team Einstein’ from Hulme Hall Grammar School and Reddish Vale High School’s ‘Team Dalton’ finished third.

The competition aimed to inspire and challenge pupils who have a passion for Science with the opportunity to use advanced lab equipment and to engage in Science beyond the curriculum.

SGS Head of Physics Mrs Heather Fenton commented: “Like detectives, scientists learn from clues that we find through experiments, then figure out how the clues piece together. The more we learn, the more questions we find to ask!

“Science requires us to continually challenge the status quo, to hypothesise and then to back up these ideas with experimental evidence. Today’s competitors displayed exemplary team working skills to carry their experiments with accuracy. It was a pleasure to host such an enthusiastic and inquisitive group of scientists.”

“A number of our SGS Sixth Form and Fourth Year scientists were on hand in the sessions to assist with the use of equipment and it was nice to see the sharing of knowledge and interest for Sciences between them and our visitors.”