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Sixth Formers enjoy enlightening Chemistry Race competition

Pupils pose for a photo at the 2024 Chemistry Race

During the Spring half-term break, four Lower Sixth Chemistry students made the journey to the University of Cambridge to take part in the 5th Annual Chemistry Race competition.

The competition consists of answering chemistry-based questions, over a period of two hours. Initially, pupils are given six questions, and every correct answer is rewarded with points, and a new question is provided.

Questions covered all aspects of the subject and included challenges such as determining the metabolism products of amygdalin (a compound fount in stone fruits to discourage animals from consuming them), working out the ratio of iron(II) and iron(III) in Prussian blue and calculating the mass of paraxanthine based on a volume of coffee consumed.

The team of Dylan Cort, Mia Krywonos, Magda Zelazny and Shania Broderick put in a commendable effort, especially as the majority of teams consisted of Upper Sixth pupils, coming in with 52 points.

During the afternoon, the pupils also had the opportunity to venture in to Cambridge and the surrounding Colleges.

Dylan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Chemistry Race! I found it both challenging and interesting, and I am very grateful for having this experience” whilst Mia commented: “I had a marvellous time attempting a variety of problems and exploring the beautiful city of Cambridge.”

Magda added: “This trip was definitely both fun and enlightening. The competition really forced me to think outside the box with its tricky, unique problems; I could genuinely feel my brain working. The satisfaction we got from getting a hard question right was incredible. Additionally, I love that the trip gave us an opportunity to see what the atmosphere is like at the university.”

Shania concluded: “The competition was really enjoyable but also eye-opening to be around people with the same interests who were so hard working. Not only the people who went with us but also the other people from other schools.”