Thornhill College takes first place in Northern Ireland Schools' Analyst Competition
John McCullagh, senior lecturer at Stranmillis University College Belfast, reports from the Northern Ireland heat of our Analytical Division Schools’ Analyst Competition.
This annual event, held at Stranmillis University College Belfast, is organised by the local Analytical Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry and involved 12 schools from right across Northern Ireland. The three sixth-form girls from Thornhill were judged to be the most accurate and precise in their chemical analysis of everyday household products which included lemon juice and an iron health supplement.
The competition showcases the importance of STEM subjects, particularly chemistry, to the local pharmaceutical and food industries. After the event the winning team of Jessica O’Hare, Aoibh Graham and Amy English said, "the RSC Schools’ Analyst Competition was a brilliant opportunity for us to work together as a team and apply our existing knowledge in a practical way to real life situations. There was a great sense of enthusiasm throughout the whole day and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We are delighted to progress to the national final in June!".
Their winning teacher and head of Thornhill College chemistry department, Caroline Devine, added, "I always look forward to the RSC Schools’ Analyst Competition each year. It is a wonderful learning experience for my students, enabling them to carry out challenging experiments in a university setting."
The team from Friends’ School narrowly pipped students from Lumen Christi to second place.
In addition to winning book vouchers to support the teaching of chemistry, the winners will now go on to represent the Northern Ireland region in the UK final at Sussex University on 21 and 22 June. We wish them well!
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