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Top of the Bench Chemists


Well done Isobel (Y11), Eleanor (Y10), Suki and Sophie (both Y9) who represented the school in yesterday’s Top Of The Bench Chemistry Competition at the University of York. The Royal Society of Chemistry stages this fun competition every year to provide inspiration for the top Chemistry pupils in the country. Yesterday’s Central Yorkshire regional heat had a total of fourteen competing schools from across the region, where each team comprises two Year 9, one Year 10 and one Year 11 pupil.

After an early arrival, tackled their first round, which involved watching a short video, followed by timed questions, about the work of John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries”, which won the 2019 Nobel prize for Chemistry. The girls quickly pulled together as a team and remained composed over the next six rounds, which included answering questions under time pressure on the periodic table, element anagrams and extracting information from a Chemistry publication. After a short break, the girls began a series of practical challenges. They showed impressive determination during a task to collectively build a molecule of Penicillin, identifying inks using Chromatography, and making a film canister explode (!) using citric acid. The girls behaved impeccably throughout with every member of the team contributing well and supporting one another. 
All of the teams were brought together to nervously await the results, which were very close and The Mount came in at a respectable ninth place. Moreover, the girls learnt lots, had loads of fun and left inspired with a periodic table, a pink pencil (to Suki’s particular delight) and sparkly bug! 
We look forward to attending again next year
– Abigail Gingele, Head of Chemistry