Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Chemisty Competition at Herts University

Dr Paterson took three of Aldenham’s finest sixth form scientists to the University of Hertfordshire to compete against eighteen other schools from across the region in the annual Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Chemistry Competition.

Following additional coaching sessions in the run up to the competition, Luca Buttinger, Danyal Nasir and Cameron Steel attended this long running competition. They were met with a laboratory many times larger than they are used to at Aldenham, and a range of apparatus and techniques that stretched them beyond their A Level learning. In addition to the commonly used titration, they had to prepare samples to high levels of accuracy and precision, and use analytical apparatus that they won’t meet again until at undergraduate level. Team work was critical during the day. Despite having four hours of practical time, and an hour for further calculation and write-up, delegation of tasks and supporting each other was essential in ensuring all the work was completed.

Danyal writes “I learnt from this experience how important accuracy is with our measurements, as your final results can be massively affected. Also, the laboratory helpers on the day who were observing us helped us with very helpful chemical tips along the way”. Luca writes “Unfortunately we did not place in the top three schools. However we did return with experience of new methods of analysis and have definitely improved our practical skills which will help our journey through our A Levels”.

Congratulations to the three Aldenham students for representing the school, and special mention to Cameron for stepping in at the last minute to complete team, after Millie Collins had to withdraw due to unforeseen circumstances.

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