Every year, the Chemistry Department offer the opportunity for Third, Fourth and Fifth Year students to take part in the Top of the Bench competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). It can be a challenging activity, but is great experience, and as a nationally recognised competition, looks great on students’ CVs. 

All interested students participate in an internal two-part competition to form an official Trinity team consisting of two Third Year students, and one Fourth and Fifth Year. Congratulations to this year’s winners Jamie Woodward, Lyam Mosnier, Iwo Ligeza and Neo Ji whose scores were submitted to the RSC as out official entry. 

As part of the internal heat, the students had to complete an online set of questions posed by the RSC which covered topics they should have studied in their Chemistry lessons but were certainly stretching in their level. This side of the competition was marked by the RSC. 

The students then took part in a practical session which was marked by competition-organiser, and Teacher of Chemistry, Mr Borley. This varied by year group with the Third Years having to make their own solution of copper sulfate by reacting sulfuric acid with copper oxide, heating and filtering to remove any unreacted copper oxide and answering questions on their observations.  

The Fourth-Year students were given some unknown solutions and had to carry out tests to identify which was which by adding only a strip of metal and other challenges that even included A Level knowledge.  

The Fifth Years were asked to carry out an acid-base titration of hydrochloric acid with sodium hydroxide and to measure the temperature change after each addition of the acid to the alkali, plotting a graph of their data with further calculations required. 

The Trinity team scored an impressive 101/140 with the top school in the competition scoring 115/140 during an RSC-organised event. The scores of a second team consisting of Caleb Thompson, Tom Breslin, Aayan Abbas and Christopher Bergs were also submitted.  

Although we don’t believe there will be any further progression in the competition, the RSC offers opportunities for students to attend challenge days hosted at universities, such as the one attended by last year’s team at Greenwich University, so we wait to hear on that. Well done to all students who took part. 

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