Podium finish at prestigious UK chemistry comp

Chemistry students put in fantastic performance at national event.

A team of students from Cornwall has proved they have all the elements for success after placing third in the national final of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Schools Analyst competition.

After winning the regional competition earlier in the year, the Truro and Penwith College team, made up of Morwenna Tamblyn, James Butters and Mark Hopper, travelled to Keele University in June for the final.

Twenty teams from across the UK competed for the title, which is sponsored by the RSC Analytical Division.

They were challenged to use and apply their knowledge of chemistry to analyse the components in a soft drink using state-of-the-art equipment, including investigating caffeine levels, dye concentrations and sugar content.

The teams were judged both on the results they achieved and the manner in which they worked.

The Truro and Penwith College team, who are all first year A level students studying Chemistry, said the competition had been a fantastic experience.

James, who is also a member of the colleges’ Medic’s academy and hoping to progress to study veterinary medicine, said he “really enjoyed the tasks and experiencing at first-hand what university study would be like”.

“We were using equipment that we had not seen before, which was challenging as we were out of our comfort zone, but we focussed on working as a team and taking our time”.

Mark added that he “really liked the fact we had to work independently and seeing the range of equipment in the labs was really interesting”.

Commenting on the success of the team, Matt Blackman, Deputy Team Leader for Science at Truro and Penwith College said “achieving third place nationally is a fantastic achievement for our students and reflects not only their hard work and effort but also the growth in interest in science we have witnessed over the last few years.

“As an Ofsted Outstanding College we provide a wide range of opportunities for all of our students. They have access to up to date equipment and can participate in activities such as the STEM Academy and the Chemistry Olympiad as additional aspects of their study programme.

“These opportunities aim to stretch students beyond the confines of the specification and provide them with a wider understanding of the world of science and of the range of progression routes available after their studies at the College.”

For more information on studying science at Truro and Penwith College or the STEM Academy, please contact 01872 267000 or enquiry@truro-penwith.ac.uk