Four of our most talented scientists were hard at work competing at Teesside University on Wednesday, in the regional ‘Top of the Bench’ chemistry competition, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Jakob Y11, Keira Y10, and Arran & Chloe Y9 travelled to the University with Ms Curran, after spending several weeks preparing, with Jakob in particular supporting the younger students at after-school sessions to boost their knowledge base in advance of the day.
They had great fun, alongside being challenged considerably. The four came a respectable fourth, out of eight teams in the regional heat from across Teesside. No doubt the knowledge gained will help us next year.
Sue Thompson, of the Royal Society of Chemistry said:
“Enthusing and exciting children with chemistry and encouraging them to consider further education and careers with chemistry is key to our efforts of securing the next generation of talented chemical scientists. The Top of the Bench competition is one of our longest-standing activities for school children: together with our members we have been organising and running it for more than 20 years.
Each year, teams of four 13- to 16-year-old students compete for the Top of the Bench trophy. The competition starts with regional heats, which are organised by our Local Sections and usually take place in the autumn term. Each Local Section committee decides the format of the regional heat, and they take on various forms, including quizzes, presentations and practical experiments. The regional winners then have a chance to compete against each other in the UK final in spring.This national competition is for 14 –16 year old students studying chemistry. Royal Society of Chemistry Local Sections run heats during the autumn term to select a team to represent the section in the UK final the following year."
Each year there is a final in the following spring that includes:
*a short test of factual chemical knowledge
*a practical chemical problem solving team exercise
First prize is awarded to the best overall school performance, with five teams receiving runners up prizes. The Jacqui Clee Award is given to the student who has demonstrated an outstanding individual contribution to the day.