Friday, 18 February 2011

BSB test out IYC experiment

As part of the school's Charities Week the British School of Brussels (BSB) tried out the International Year of Chemistry's Global experiment. Chemistry classes on Tuesday 15 February measured the acidity of water samples for inclusion in a global database.

While secondary pupils tackled the experiment for themselves younger classes were led through the experiment by students from years 12 and 13. All classes examined four samples: rain water, tap water, distilled water and water taken from the lake in Tervuren Park close to the Royal African Museum.

The results from the experiments will be added to the IYC global database that has recently launched.

Global experiment
The International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC) is inviting school students around the world to explore one of Earth’s most critical resources: water. The results of their investigations will contribute to a Global Experiment, which could become the biggest chemistry experiment ever!

Under the theme, “Water: A Chemical Solution” students look at the properties of their local water and the technological solutions chemistry makes available to humanity in supplying clean drinking water.

Experiment modules can be carried out by children of all ages in schools across all continents. Results will be electronically showcased as an interactive global data map at the end of 2011, demonstrating the value of international cooperation in science.

There are four possible modular activities in the global experiment: measuring the pH of the Planet (the task BSB tackled), assessing salty waters, the Solar Still Challenge, and 'No water, No Germs'.

More information on the IYC Global Experiment can be found here.

Charities Week
The whole week of 14 - 18 February was designated as Charities Week at BSB with events and fundraising activities being staged by school staff, pupils and parents for a variety of good causes.

Tuesday 15 February was highlighted as ‘Water Day’. On the day specially branded 'Drink and Donate' water will be on sale and the school community was asked to consider 'What price would you put on clean water'. The specific aim of the day's fundraising was to provide one (or more) borehole(s) - each able to supply clean drinking water to an African school for a whole year!

BSB are Belgium TOTB champs!

Four pupils from the British School of Brussels (BSB) in Tervuren will be representing Belgium at this year's RSC Top of the Bench (TOTB) competition that takes place this coming weekend.

This year our Belgian eliminator attracted entries from 46 students at four local schools (BSB, the European School at Woluwe (Brussels II), the European School at Ixelles (Brussels III) and St. John’s International School in Waterloo). The competition was, as usual, extremely tight, but the BSB team were clear winners.

The BSB team (below) will be presented with the Belgium TOTB cup in the near future and arrangements are now under way for them to travel to the TOTB National Final in the UK. This testing challenge will pit team members Thomas, Imogen, Anandmoy and Ayako against budding scientists from some of the best UK schools.

The final takes place on Saturday 2 April at Imperial College in London. Congratulations to the BSB team and we wish them the best of luck in London this weekend!

Monday, 14 February 2011

2010 Poster Competition Winners

The RSC Belgium section 2010 poster competition was based on the theme 'Water and Life' following the popular lecture from Prof Neil Ward of Surrey University on his 'Water for Life' project held in March. RSC Belgium executive members judged the entries on both artistic flair and scientific content. And the prize winners are announced below.

The poster competition was open to all students in Belgium in three age ranges: 14 years old or over; 12 - 14 years old; and 9 - 11 years old at 1st September 2010. Budding artists were asked to depict the chemistry behind 'Water and Life' in an informative and creative way. Entries were accepted in English, French, Dutch and German.

The 12 - 14 year age range was the most competitive class with the first prize going to Thomas Hoogendoorn of the European School Brussels II situated in Woluwe Saint Lambert for a very imaginative and informative entry (see below).

Two joint second prizes were awarded to Ana Catarina Barbedo also of the European school (see below)

and Alexandra Paunica (see below) from the British School of Brussels (BSB) in Tervuren, just outside Brussels. Merit prizes in this age range were also awarded to Agathe Bruynickx, Liam Horbacheweska and Kim Minsoo all studying at BSB.

Junior prizes
In the Under 12 category a merit prize was awarded to Noemie Bouvant (see below) from a primary school in Boussu just west of Mons. Two pupils at the same school, Flavi Berlemont and Massimo Bouvant also picked up Merit prizes for their entries even though they were outside the specified age range being under 9 years old at the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year.

Congratulations to all our entrants!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Chemistry gets big on Berlaymont

Yesterday (2 February) a 'mega banner' promoting the chemical sciences was unveiled on the European Commission's headquarters, the Berlaymont building, in Brussels.

The 40 metre tall banner celebrates International Year of Chemistry with the message 'Chemistry innovating for a sustainable future'.

The banner coincides with an important conference for the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Chemical Industry (HLG) that takes place in Brussels on 10 February.