QE chemists in top 1% in Cambridge competition

QE pupils Robert Swan and Alex Zanre have been invited to take part in a residential camp at Cambridge University after finishing in the top 50 of a national Year 12 Chemistry competition.

The two boys were awarded roentgenium certificates after achieving a mark in the top 0.8% out of almost 7,000 entrants in the Lower Sixth Cambridge Chemistry Challenge (C3L6), which is run by the university. (Like copper, silver and gold, roentgenium is a metal in group 11 in the periodic table: first created in a laboratory in 1994, it is not found in nature and is thus the rarest in the group.)

Andrew Hui, Milan Kundra, Bhavik Mehta, Vinul Wimalaweera and Tianlin Zhang all gained gold certificates; Rubin Khojasteh was awarded silver, and Reuben Chacko copper.

""“This is a fantastic set of results, especially when taking into account the fact that the exam was beyond what they have studied up to this point and required a lot of application and understanding,” said Elizabeth Kuo, the Chemistry teacher who oversaw the boys’ entry. “It is the first time that a QE student has been awarded the highest certificate possible – and it’s not just one but two!”

The competition is designed to take students well past the the A-Level Chemistry syllabus, encouraging them to think about the subject in the way they would at university. It takes the form of a 90-minute written paper, which students take at their schools. Over 40% of the entrants nationally did not gain any certificates, which reflects the challenging nature of the competition.

Robert and Alex will now go on to attend the residential camp at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, at the end of August.