National finals for chemistry trio

A trio of Cornish students has fought off tough competition from across Devon and Cornwall to reach the national finals of a prestigious chemistry competition.

Chelsea Bryant and Morwenna Tamblyn, both from St Austell, and James Butters from Helston, supported by reserve Nanbo Chen from Camborne, competed in the regional Schools’ Analyst heat, run by the Royal Society of Chemistry and hosted by Plymouth University.

The team, who are all in their first year studying A Levels at Truro and Penwith College, took on 7 other schools in a series of practical experiments to take home the regional cup.

Over 3 hours, using university-grade equipment, the students had the challenge of identifying unknown compounds, determining the concentration of a paracetamol solution using Ultraviolet Spectroscopy and carrying out a volumetric titration of citric acid.

Chelsea Bryant said: “I really enjoyed the competition. It was very difficult trying to complete all of the experiments in the time but we are all really excited to go on to the national final.” 

The students will now go on to represent the Western Region at the national final, which is to be held at Keele University in June. The final of the competition sees around 18 to 20 teams competing for the Challenge Shield.