News - Schools’ Young Analyst Competition

Westwood College was invited to compete in the Midlands heat of the Schools’ Analyst Competition which was held on Thursday 28th April 2011 at Keele University.

The Schools’ Analyst Competition is a national competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Analytical Division for students studying AS level Chemistry.  To compete a team of three students was needed and Becky Edmenson (12WS12), Hannah Walker (12WS14), and Ellie Walmsley (12WS12) enthusiastically accepted the challenge to enter.

The competition aims to promote an interest in the study of Chemistry, particularly Analytical Science, and to encourage students to consider Analytical Science as a career option.  The experiments allowed the students an insight into the exciting technologies that are used routinely throughout analytical science.  The competition enabled them to gain hands on experience with instrumental techniques that they otherwise would not get the opportunity to perform in school.

The 11 teams were judged on their skill, understanding, and accuracy, their ability to work as a team and for their safe working practices in the laboratory.  Although Westwood was not placed in the top 3 the judges commended all the teams that took part.  Becky, Ellie and Hannah did us proud and were great ambassadors for Westwood College.  The photo shows the girls receiving their certificates and they had this to say about their day:

We enjoyed using our knowledge of Chemistry in a real life situation. In the morning session we had to carry out three experiments to analyse some river water to find out what had killed some fish.  It was interesting to use the new equipment that we don’t have in school.  There was a lot to do so we had to work hard and be organised to finish the experiments in time.  It was great because we got to wear lab coats for the day, and had a bench the width of the lab to ourselves!  We were nervous at first but after a while the environment was more relaxed.  We got to compete against 10 other teams, some from private schools, so there was a real competitive edge between some of the teams.  In the afternoon we heard about the courses that Keele offer, and the whole day gave us a taster of what careers in Chemistry are actually like.

Mrs Blake accompanied the students but was not able to communicate with them during the competition.  She joined other teachers on a separate schedule at the Science Learning Centre which included a workshop where everyone got the chance to make ‘slime’ and glue from milk!


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