On Friday 28 March, 2014, four very excited students from the British School of Brussels (BSB) set out on their journey to take part in the Top of the Bench Final that took place at Loughborough University, UK on Saturday 29 March. The BSB 'Bromine' team represented RSC Belgium following their victory at our Belgian eliminator contest in November. BSB teacher and RSC Belgium exec member Jane Downing sent us this report.
"Throughout the journey they chattered non-stop about their chemistry, each trying to help the other revise the hardest topics. To be frank I think all of them could enter their IGCSE exam this year and pass!
The BSB team consisted of Maria, Jasper, Gabriela and Emma (see below) and did themselves, BSB and the RSC Belgium section proud. The team maintained a high level of enthusiasm throughout the competition, encouraging each other and commiserating when they were not placed in the top six teams.They were tested with practical tasks using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and Ion Identification, both normally topics for second year university students apparently!
The day finished with a most entertaining lecture 'What has Analytical Chemistry ever done for us?' by Prof. Colin Creaser. And if you know this field of chemistry then you know what a feat this was!
The students had such an enjoyable time that they spent the return journey, planning their teams for next year's competition!
Many thanks to the RSC(Belgium section)'s support for the team!"
The RSC Top of the Bench 2014 saw 29 teams taking part from across the UK plus, of course, Belgium. The competition was jointly organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Loughborough University and tested students' knowledge of chemistry through written and practical exercises.
The overall winner was Ardingly College, from the Downland RSC Local Section who received the TOTB trophy from Professor Ray Jones, President of the RSC's Organic Division and Professor of Organic and Biological Chemistry at Loughborough University.
The winning team members each received gift vouchers and £500 for their school to spend on equipment for the Chemistry department.
The runners-up were from Bolton School (Boys' Division) from the Manchester & District RSC Local Section.
RSC Belgium will be holding our 2014 eliminator during November - so get you teams ready now!