Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Science students gain valuable insight into the world of Chemistry

Every year, the Royal Society of Chemistry run a National Analytical Chemistry competition for Year 12 Chemistry students across the country. The Eastern regional heats took place at the University of Hertfordshire on Wednesday 18th April, and three of Aldenham’s best chemists took part. Competing against state and independent schools, Sean Nicholas, Harshil Vachhani and Tom Wright represented our school. The three were introduced to an undergraduate pharmaceutical science laboratory where they would be carrying out the three practical tasks over 4 hours of intense lab work. Organisations, teamwork and communication were critical parts of achieving well, as the tasks were complex and push A-level students to the edge of their skills and knowledge.

Tom commented “In the laboratory, we were given the opportunity to use advanced equipment such as a gas chromatographer, in addition to a UV spectrometer.” Sean commented “we collected the data from the machines, and I started analysing them while my two partners were completing the other two experiments.” Harshil commented “During the day we encountered several problems such as difficulties with the use of advanced equipment which we had to overcome as a team. Although it was a competition the, staff were more than happy to lend us a helping hand which was a great aid especially with analysis of results.”

While the Aldenham team didn’t place in the top three this year, the day was an invaluable experience for all three students. It provided them with an insight into university study, and will bolster their applications when they apply for degree study. Congratulations to Team Aldenham.

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