School wins regional heat of national science competition
Students from Westholme School in Blackburn saw off intense competition to win the North West heat of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) National Schools' Analyst Competition, hosted annually by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The team, made up of Hebe Smith, Maddie Hopkinson and Alex Shofield, was accompanied by teacher Caroline Hibberd and will now head to Sussex in June in a bid to win the national grand final.
Each team participated in a variety of experiments deemed relevant to modern day industrial needs. They were judged on skill, understanding and accuracy as their teamwork was put to the test.
Caroline Hibberd said: “I am so proud of the students, we’ve not competed in a number of years in the competition so to come and win it was fantastic.”
Alex Schofield, one third of the winning team, admitted that he did not expect his team to even reach the top three never mind win the heat.
I am so proud of the students, we’ve not competed in a number of years in the competition so to come and win it was fantastic.
“We finished with about half the time to spare so we just assumed we had made quite a big mistake somewhere along the line. Then we were announced as the winners, which really took us by surprise because after finishing so early we sort of ruled that out all together.”
It’s the eighth year that UCLan has hosted the North West heat as well as being the venue for last year’s national final, with students taking advantage of the fantastic facilities in JB Firth Building. The idea behind the annual RSC event is to encourage students to consider chemistry related careers while at the same time giving participants a taste of university life.
The University of Sussex will host the final next month.