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Charterhouse best young chemists in the country

27 June 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Local school wins host to national chemistry competition.

Pupils from Charterhouse School in Godalming have been crowned the best young chemists in the country after winning a national science competition.

Hosted for the first time by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston, Lancashire, the three A-Level chemistry students triumphed over 19 other schools from around the country to be named the winners of the annual Royal Society of Chemistry National Schools’ Analyst Competition.

The students; Bettina Chan, Max Thomas and Anthony Wong competed in the University’s state-of-the-art science facilities to fulfil a series of challenging analytical experiments based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs.

“It feels great to win such a prestigious national competition. It has allowed us to try advanced techniques that are outside of the A-Level syllabus and use the latest high-tech equipment in UCLan’s analytical labs.”

The competition aims to provide some tasks which are relatively familiar to the students and others which are likely to be unfamiliar, such as chromatographic separations or atomic and molecular spectroscopy. In this way, it is hoped that the competitors will learn new skills, as well as demonstrate their existing knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical science.

Anthony Wong, 18, commented: “It feels great to win such a prestigious national competition. It has allowed us to try advanced techniques that are outside of the A-Level syllabus and use the latest high-tech equipment in UCLan’s analytical labs.”

The three Charterhouse pupils represented the South East in the national final after first winning the regional event earlier this year. The much respected competition attracts the brightest young chemists from around the country and aims to encourage students to consider chemistry related careers while at the same time giving participants a taste of university life.

“It’s really important that young scientists are given the chance to use the most up-to-date analytical equipment to give them a feel for the real world and how chemistry is applied.”

Alan Hadley, the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division, said: “It’s really important that young scientists are given the chance to use the most up-to-date analytical equipment to give them a feel for the real world and how chemistry is applied. I never fail to be impressed by the number of enthusiastic young chemists that we see at this event every year and I want to offer my congratulations to the pupils of Charterhouse School.”

UCLan Lecturer in Chemistry William Stockburn commented: “Congratulations to the pupils from Charterhouse School who have shown they are amongst the brightest next generation of scientists. We are honoured to host the national final and allow the students to use some of the best and most advanced analytical equipment available both in education and in industry.”

UCLan’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.

Charterhouse won £1,000 for first place with joint second place schools, Holyhead High School and Down High School receiving £600. Varndean College was awarded £300 for third place with the other finalists receiving £100 each.