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Science Competition inspires next generation

Stockport Grammar School hosted its annual Science Competition this July, challenging 48 Fourth Year pupils from 10 local high schools.

Pupils competed in groups of four with each team taking on the name of a famous scientist to complete an hour long task 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. Each team had three attempts with the highest mass transfer being the victor.

In Chemistry the competitors investigated the use of biofuels which are forming part of the move into sustainable fuels for the future. They synthesised their own biofuel from rape seed oil and used it’s density to calculate the percentage saturation. The pupils then measured the energy change per gram from the combustion of their biofuel and compared this to other fuels, evaluating their success.

The level of competition was high and the results very close. Overall victors were ‘Hawking’ team from Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, team ‘Feynman’ from Droylsden Academy were second and team ‘Einstein’ from Bramhall High School took 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.

Head of Chemistry Dr Annie Glarvey commented: “The pupils performed their experiments with accuracy showing competent practical techniques and analytical skills. It was a pleasure to host such an enthusiastic and inquisitive group of scientists.

“A number of SGS Sixth Form 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.”