Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Luxembourg to represent Belgium in Top of the Bench!

The results of the RSC Belgium Top of the Bench (ToTB) eliminator for 2015 have been announced. And the holder of the Keith Price Cup (pictured right) for 2016 - and the Belgian representative in the TOTB grand final in the UK - will be team Hydrogen from St. George's International School in Luxembourg!

This year we were unable to hold our usual practical Saturday event - scheduled for 21 November - due to the Brussels security lock down that came into force on the morning of our event. Fortunately we were able to inform all our competing teams before any of them started to travel to the British School.

Unfortunately it was not possible to find a Saturday afternoon slot to re-schedule the TOTB Eliminator Round before the RSC HQ deadline date for submission of team details of 31 January 2016. So a modified form of the Eliminator was held at each competing school.

This consisted of a written question paper and a challenging Practical Problem Solving Exercise. Although the competition this year did not involve any 'hands-on' practical work the format developed by our resident competition guru, Rita Woodward, gave the students more than just a standard paper and pencil test of their chemical know-how. Students from the Oxygen team at the SHAPE International School are pictured above taking part in the competition at their school.

Members of Hydrogen, the winning team from St George’s Luxembourg, each received a RSC heat sensitive mug and the school will hold the TOTB Keith Price Cup during 2016.

St. George's School Principal, Dr Christian Barkei, was really pleased with the team's success and the win has been reported in some Luxembourg newspapers: 'Young chemists set eyes on prize in UK contest'  ( and 'St George’s Hydrogen Team Wins Royal Society of Chemistry Regional Event in Belgium' (

The Runner–Up team was team Calcium from the European School Brussels 4 in Laeken (EEB4) and Calcium team members each received a RSC phone battery charger as did those students who scored the top mark in the written paper for each of the three year groups that form the TOTB teams. Every student that took part in the competition received a certificate.

The winning Team Hydrogen from St George's are pictured above with the Keith Price Cup and their certificates. Pictured from left to right are team members Alexios Valsamidis, Alistair Reid, Yi-hua Lim and Ethan Utting.  Mark Stenton, Head of Science at St. George's said all the team were very pleased with the trophy, their certificates and their additional gifts!

Full results
Despite our troubles and tribulations the eliminator was, as ever, a close-fought competition with a total of nine from six schools taking part.

The full line up of participating teams for the 2015 competition is listed below:
The TOTB Finals take place in Loughborough in the UK on 16 April 2016 and RSC sponsors the travel arrangements for our winning team. The RSC Belgium team is the only competing school team not based in the British Isles.
Our next TOTB Eliminator Round will, hopefully, take place in November 2016.

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