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Top of the Bench

14 May 2014

Sussex school wins LU hosted chemistry comp

A school from West Sussex won the 2014 Top of the Bench final hosted by Loughborough University in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ardingly College, an independent co-educational boarding and day school, won the prize for best overall team performance, with Bolton School (Boys’ Division) finishing runners-up.

The Jacqui Clee award, which recognises the most outstanding individual contribution to the day, went to Annanay Kapila, from Nottingham High School.

A number of schools from the UK, plus one from Belgium, qualified from preliminary rounds to compete in the prestigious national finals at Loughborough.

The competition is aimed at increasing interest in and participation by young people in Chemistry.

This year’s theme was water and the competitors used University equipment not available in schools.

The competition consisted of two events, a short test of factual chemical knowledge, and a practical chemical problem solving team exercise.

The participants finished the day with a lecture presented by Professor Colin Creaser, head of the Centre for Analytical Science.

Professor Ray Jones, who is from Loughborough University’s Chemistry Department, and is also President of the Royal Society of Chemistry Organic Division, said: “We were excited to be once again hosting the national final of the prestigious schools competition on behalf of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

“This event is a key part of our university strategy for outreach in science and challenges the chemistry learning of schools across the country, and those teams that make it to the Loughborough final are the pick of the bunch!”

Royal Society of Chemistry Education Co-ordinator Sue Thompson, who organised the final, said: “Top of the Bench 2014 was our best-ever national final. The theme of the day was ‘water’ so all of the students’ challenging chemistry activities were linked to the theme.”