14 May 2013
The winning pupils accepting their award. L –R Adam Murray, Head of Science Dr Michael Yates, Waqqas Patel, and UCLan Senior Lecturer in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Dr Rob Smith.
Budding chemists from Bolton will represent the North West in the final of a national schools’ chemistry competition after beating off hopefuls from across the region.
Pupils from Bolton School Boys’ Division won the North West regional heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition held at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The three AS level chemistry students; Adam Murray, Waqqas Patel and Zubayr Adia triumphed over 10 schools from across Lancashire and will represent the North West region at the prestigious UK final which will take place in Sunderland in June.
For the sixth year in a row UCLan hosted the North West leg of the competition which aims to encourage students to consider chemistry related careers while at the same time giving participants a taste of university life.
The competition took place in laboratories within the University’s new £11.5 million J.B. Firth Building, which has been specifically built to support teaching and research in chemistry and related disciplines.
"This level of chemistry really stretches the boys and UCLan’s fantastic lab facilities allow them to work with advanced equipment that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to use.”
Each team undertook various practical analytical experiments based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs. These were judged on skill, understanding and accuracy using tests intended to promote team work and safety in the laboratory.
Head of Science at Bolton School Dr Michael Yates commented: “The school has participated in this competition for the last six years and it’s a big honour to represent the region in the final. This level of chemistry really stretches the boys and UCLan’s fantastic lab facilities allow them to work with advanced equipment that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to use.”
Team captain, 16-year-old Waqqas Patel, said: “We’ve enjoyed taking part and are excited about competing in the final. It’s been a great experience to work in a laboratory environment and the competition has given us a real insight into what degree level chemistry involves.”
Nelson & Colne College were named as runners-up and Arnold KEQMS were awarded third place in the competition.
“This competition always attracts a high calibre of entrants. The students from Bolton School Boys’ Division have proved to have great analytical skills and capabilities in the lab."
UCLan Senior Lecturer in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry Dr Rob Smith commented: “This competition always attracts a high calibre of entrants. The students from Bolton School Boys’ Division have proved to have great analytical skills and capabilities in the lab. I wish them luck at the national final of the competition and I’m sure they will do the region proud.”
Next year UCLan will host the national final of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Schools’ Analysts Competition when 20 school teams from across the country will put their analytical science skills to the test to be crowned the overall winner.
The University’s new JB Firth Building houses the schools of Forensic and Investigative Sciences and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. It includes four laboratories for up to 160 students as well as two chemistry rooms, one analytical laboratory and a fire laboratory.