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16 March 2009 - PR 09/30

Top of the Bench at Loughborough University

Loughborough University will be hosting a prestigious national competition, aimed at increasing the participation of children in chemistry.

The national finals of ‘Top of the Bench’, which is run by the Royal Society of Chemistry for 14-16 year-olds, will take place at Loughborough University on Saturday, 28 March. It is also one of the core educational events taking place within this year’s iFestival, the innovation festival funded and organised by emda.
A large number of schools from across the country have taken part in the preliminary rounds, with 28 teams of four now progressing to take part in the national finals at Loughborough.
The competition will comprise of two events: a short test of factual chemical knowledge and a two-hour practical chemical problem solving team exercise.  Students will finish the day with a lecture on SciSport (the science behind sport) presented by Geoff Parsons, former Olympic high jumper, and now Chairman of By Design Group Ltd. Prizes will be given for the best overall performance (the Top of the Bench team) and five runner-up teams, in addition to the Jacqui Clee Award, which will be presented for the most outstanding individual contribution of the day.
Professor Peter Warwick, Head of the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough, said he was delighted that the University had been selected to host such a nationally-recognised competition.
“I think it’s very important for Loughborough to continue to encourage participation in science and there is no better platform for this than the Top of the Bench competition.
“It is certain to be an excellent showcase for these young teams and I am sure they will benefit tremendously from taking part on the day. Loughborough University will be an excellent venue.”
For more information, please log on to www.rsc.org/education/schoolstudents/totb.asp


For all media enquiries contact:

Jo Lumani
Senior Public Relations Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.P.Lumani@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.


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