Reacting well under pressure: Chemistry competition victory

QE has won the regional heat of a national chemistry competition – adding to an impressive record of success in the prestigious event in recent years.

The victory in the Middlesex and Chilterns round of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Top of the Bench competition means that the team now go through to the national final at Loughborough in April.

QE’s Head of Science, Dr Malcolm Russell, praised the work of Chemistry teacher Elizabeth Kuo: “We have now won the regional competition four times out of the past six years – a striking level of achievement that, I am sure, is due in no small part to the weekly lunchtime training sessions that Dr Kuo organises.”

Under the competition rules, each team must include four pupils drawn from across Years 9-11.

QE’s competitors were selected by their teachers as showing outstanding promise in Chemistry. The team comprises Year 9 boys Vincent Tang and Alejandro Lynch Gonzales (seated front, left to right) as well as Ashish Khimasia, of Year 10, and Michael Takla, from Year 11 (seated back, left to right).

The regional heat was hosted by St Benedict’s, an independent school in Ealing, west London. There were around 20 teams competing, including a number from leading academic schools including Westminster and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’. The heat featured eight rounds, all of them theoretical: a practical element is, however, included in the final.

For winning the heat, the four QE contenders won £20 each and individual certificates, together with a silver plate and £100 for the School.

The Top of the Bench competition has been running for more than 20 years. It aims to foster children’s interest in Chemistry, encouraging them to study it in higher education and eventually to pursue it as a career.