A Christmas tree made of crystals of pure silver, grown from copper and silver nitrate, has won students from Gordon’s School in Woking first prize in an international competition.
The theme of the competition was 'Innovation' and the challenge was to post an image on Twitter of a chemistry-themed Christmas tree. The competition attracted entrants from all over the globe, in a number of categories.
Gordon’s School in West End emerged as the winner with its simple and elegant tree 'grown' from copper and silver nitrate crystals. They posted a video of the tree's creation under the competition hashtag #Chemistree.
Chemistry teacher William Barron de Burgh, who was responsible for the entry said: "I am pleased this novel practical has inspired pupils, teachers and professionals alike encouraging them to partake in the enjoyment of practical chemistry."
The competition was run by Dr John O’Donoghue, who is also an education coordinator for the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is based at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
"I’ve been running the Chemistree Social Media competition for nearly a decade as an informal piece of Christmas-themed fun among chemists”, says John. “When I started my university studies I became fascinated by the idea of Chemistrees, discovering various types in schools, colleges and university labs all over the world. With the rapid growth of social media, the competition has grown enormously over the past few years into a truly international collection of chemistry creativity.
"The 2017 winner at Gordon’s School really encompassed the theme of innovation, giving us a simple yet educational and visually stunning Chemistree that hopefully will inspire others to try it out for themselves."
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