Chemists in national final

A QE team finished in the top third in the national final of a chemistry competition, having qualified by winning their regional round.

The team, drawn from Years 9-11, took ninth place out of the 32 schools in the national final of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Top of the Bench competition, which was held in Loughborough. They had previously won the Chilterns and Middlesex District round – the fourth time QE has triumphed in this round in the past six years.

QE’s team members were chosen by their teachers after showing great promise in Chemistry. The team comprised Year 9 boys Vincent Tang and Alejandro Lynch Gonzales, Ashish Khimasia, of Year 10, and Michael Takla, from Year 11.

""In the final, each boy had to sit a 35-minute written test alone, with one for the Year 9s and another for the pupils from Years 10-11.

Then, working as a team, they had to undertake a very demanding experiment with complex calculations. Chemistry teacher Elizabeth Kuo explained in detail: “This involved a transition metal titration with EDTA [Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid], measuring the emf [electromotive force] of a cell and using the Nernst equation to find the concentration of a metal ion.” It was, said Dr Kuo, the sort of practical that Sixth-Formers might be expected to do, well beyond the normal expectations for boys in Years 9-11.