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Chemistry Olympiad – record results for the school!

A medal haul for our budding Y13 Chemists!

In January, our Chemistry students took part in the first round of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Olympiad competition. Our Y13s won 5 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes, in a competition designed to stretch those in their second year of A Level study.

To earn these results, pupils had to analyse the thermodynamics of rocket fuels, the synthesis and decomposition of vitamin E in vape fluid and also the fragrance and acidity of cheese (some examples can be found below). Electronegativity is a timely topic as it was the 90th anniversary of Linus Pauling’s proposing the concept of electronegativity in 2022. With the 2023 International Chemistry Olympiad being held in Switzerland, a question on cheese was obligatory, and quizzed students on the conversion of lactose to lactic acid during fermentation in cheese manufacturing.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has released the 2023 grade boundaries for the first round of the UK Chemistry Olympiad. Round one took place on 26 January, with 11,838 students from 950 schools taking part – a new record for both. This year’s paper was more accessible than last year’s, which meant students needed to achieve higher marks to secure each award compared to last year. Students had to score 14–23 marks for the Bronze award, 24–37 marks for the Silver award and 38 or more for the Gold award. 

RSC Education executive and competition organiser, Rebecca Plant, congratulates and thanks the teachers and students for their participation: "We’re delighted to see record participation numbers for this year’s Olympiad and extend our thanks to all the teachers who facilitated this opportunity for their students. Congratulations to all the students who took part!"