Announcing the winners and runners-up in the RSC’s 2023 competition
A team from Winchester College has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) 2023 Top of the Bench national competition. On 25 March, the University of East London (UEL) hosted the final, with 31 teams from schools across the UK and Belgium competing. The competition tests the chemistry knowledge of 14–16 year-old students through written and practical exercises.
The winning team from Winchester College received a trophy and Amazon gift vouchers, and will be sent £500 for their school to spend on science equipment. The first runners-up, four students from Colchester County High School for Girls, received Amazon vouchers. Hannah Addiscott from The Grange School was awarded the Jacqui Clee Award for the most outstanding individual contribution.
This year’s competition theme was Sustainable energy. Students had to complete a 40-minute chemistry knowledge exam in pairs, followed by a 1.5-hour practical exercise in groups of four at UEL’s labs. UEL chemistry course leader Tony Raynham says they were delighted to host the talented young chemists in the Bioscience department.
Tony believes these students should have high hopes for the future: ‘There are many exciting career options for those with a degree or background in chemistry, including ways of changing lives by finding and developing new medicines and vaccines, and sustainable alternatives to help with the increasing pressure on the planet’s resources. I hope some of these young people may consider a chemistry degree and go on to be pioneers in their field.’
Speaking at the event, the RSC’s director of education and professional practice Sarah Robertson thanked the students and their teachers for their dedication and hard work in supporting them to take part in the competition. She also expressed her gratitude to the RSC local section members for their efforts in organising and running the regional heats, as well as thanking the UEL team for hosting the event.