Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Chemistry Challenge 2012 launched

Following a small pilot run in 2010 and an extremely successful full run in 2011, the RSC Belgium Section is happy to announce the launch of its Schools Chemistry Challenge 2012.

The Chemistry Challenge competition is open to students from any school in Belgium, and we would like to make this year the biggest and best Chemistry Challenge yet!

Details of the 2012 competition format are given below. The questions will be set in English, but may be answered in English, French, Dutch or German.

The competition is open to school students in their penultimate year of High School (usually aged 16 – 17), and consists of a 2 hour written test held in school and designed to demonstrate the participants’ knowledge of chemistry and their ability to think logically. Attractive cash prizes are offered, as well as certificates acknowledging participation.

From previous experience we have found that students feel that participation is a valuable ‘plus point’ when completing University application forms, clearly demonstrating an ‘extra curricula’ interest in a science subject.

A real tester
This paper-based test of knowledge and initiative was devised by RSC member Rita Woodward and is split into three sections:
  • A/ a chemistry multiple choice paper
  • B/ structured questions on chemistry, and
  • C/ a 'Thinking Matters' paper that is not chemistry based

In 2011, almost 80 students participated and RSC Belgium awarded cash prizes to top performers in each section with the winners drawn from the British School of Brussels (BSB), International School of Brussels (ISB), St. Johns International School and the European Schools at Ixelles and Uccle. Some of the winners are pictured recieving their awards and certificates from section chair Prof. Bob Crichton above.

Keith Price Prize
The best overall entry in the two chemistry sections was from Krithika Swaminathan (pictured left) a student at St. Johns school. Krithika was the first recipient of the Keith Price Prize established in memory of one of RSC Belgium's founding members who died earlier this year.

For more information on the 2012 RSC Belgium Chemistry Challenge, please contact our Challenge coordinator Rita Woodward. Further details of the Challenge Rules are outlined below.

Chemistry Challenge 2012 - The rules
The Competition is open to students:
  • who are currently studying Chemistry in their penultimate year in High School eg AS, IB or ES Bacc
  • who enjoy using both chemistry and logic to solve exercises and puzzles, and
  • who have a good grasp of the principles and a thorough knowledge of the chemistry they have studied
The challenge is:
  • One written 2 hour paper taken under examination conditions in school in May/June 2012
Other information:
  • Calculators are allowed - but not graphical or programmable
  • Maximum total mark will be 120
  • All questions for sections A and B (worth 90 marks) on chemistry will be compulsory
  • For Section C (worth 30 marks) on logic there will be a choice of questions. The questions will test the student's ability to handle logic, verbal comprehension and symbolic knowledge and to think creatively
  • For 2012 the Chemistry Challenge Competition questions will be available in English. Teachers are free to translate the questions. Candidates may answer in Dutch, English, French or German
  • For each of the Sections A, B and C all candidates will receive a Certificate: Gold or Silver or Bronze
  • In each section, the highest score will receive a prize of €50, second highest €25, and third highest €10
  • In addition, the highest total score from Sections A + B will receive “The Keith Price Prize” of €100
In the event of a tie for the Keith Price Prize, scores from Section C will be used to select the final winner.

We hope for a record entry in 2012 with some excellent students testing their knowledge and pitting their brains against those of their peers.

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