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UK Olympiad team excels in Korea



All four students in the team representing the UK at the finals of the 38th International Chemistry Olympiad have returned as medallists from the competition held at Yeungnam University in South Korea in July. Competing against students from 67 countries Harriet Keane from Peter Symonds Sixth Form College, Winchester led the way by winning a silver medal for the team while Chris Cheel of King Edward's School, Edgbaston, Freddie Manners of Winchester College and Joe Staines of Royal Grammar School, Worcester were each awarded bronze medals. According to mentor Chas McCaw. 'The medal haul is an excellent result, especially since the team had no opportunity to meet, bond and train in the UK prior to the trip because the competition was held so close to public exams'. 

UK olympiad team in Korea

The UK team was selected following three qualifying rounds of tests run by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and open to all schools and colleges. In the finals in Korea the students' knowledge of chemistry and practical skills were tested in two five-hour exams: a practical exam, which involved identifying unknown compounds by chemical analysis, doing titrations, and applying the Beer-Lambert law to an experiment with spectrophotometric dyes; and a theory exam, which included questions on interstellar chemistry on ice grains and the chemistry of liquorice. 

The 2007 International Chemistry Olympiad will be held in Moscow, Russia. Upper-sixth form students can register online for the qualifying rounds and access past papers from the competition at the RSC's Chemsoc website.

For further information on the International Chemistry Olympiad contact Sandra Abraham at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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