Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition

On Wednesday 15th June two teams of Year 12 Channing students (Bea d L, Millie E, Georgia M, Annabelle L, Flora P and Amy W) competed alongside two teams of students from Parliament Hill school in the Channing heat of the RSC Schools’ Analyst competition. Students were given a scenario in which they worked as analytical chemists employed to help with the transformation of a family-owned fish and chip restaurant. The owner of the fish and chip restaurant was interested in reducing their impact on climate change and wanted to change suppliers for some of their ingredients to those closer to the shop to reduce their carbon footprint, and to support local businesses recovering from losses during the pandemic. The students needed to perform analytical tests to make sure that the quality of the food does not suffer as a result of these changes; their task was to help the owners to analyse the local flour, potatoes, and vinegar for qualities associated with truly excellent fish and chips. The students had to work as a team to complete four practical-based tasks in the time allocated, working together as well as independently in order to collate the results and draw conclusions. Titration was used to determine the concentration of the vinegar, chromatography was used to find the amino acid composition of the flour, Benedict’s reagent was used to find the starch content of the potatoes, and thermal decomposition was used to study the bicarbonate of soda. Dr Spinks was very proud of how effectively the students were able to communicate with one another, and was impressed with their strong practical skills. Well done!