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Top students receive prestigious Chemistry Challenge awards

The Cambridge Chemistry Challenge 2017 was a great success for a handful of talented chemists from the Oundle School

Posted by Charley Rogers | September 16, 2017 | Events

Pupils from Oundle School recently took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, an annual competition launched by the university in 2011 to coincide with the International Year of Chemistry.

Kadi Sun (17) achieved an outstanding Roentgenium Award, which is only give to the top 0.8% of the 7060 entrants. In addition, four Oundle pupils; Rebecca Siddall (17), James Clayton (18), Arthur Thomson (17) and Kimi Xie (17) all received a Gold Award which placed them in the top 7% of the highly able cohort who sat this paper. Five pupils achieved Silver Awards and twelve pupils achieved Copper Awards.

As in previous years, in June 2017 the pupils sat a ninety-minute written exam designed for pupils in Year 12 or below attending schools in the UK. Entrants who did well in the competition were sent certificates of achievement, and those who performed best won an invitation to a residential camp at the University of Cambridge at the end of August. 

Not only is it a fun exercise which takes the level of thinking beyond the normal discussions had in the classroom, it also provides a good breadth of the subject that pupils may not be exposed to. - Jonathan Peverley, Head of Chemistry, Oundle School

Kadi commented, “The camp was a great experience. We met the organisers of the challenge, enjoyed lectures given by professors at Cambridge and got to do some research and experiments mainly focused on chemistry beyond A level.”

Head of Chemistry at Oundle School, Jonathan Peverley commented, “I am delighted that Kadi achieved such an award and very pleased that he was able to attend the residential event at Cambridge University that is given to the recipients of such an award.

Our annual cohort of highly able chemists has performed so well in this competition. Not only is it a fun exercise which takes the level of thinking beyond the normal discussions had in the classroom, it also provides a good breadth of the subject that pupils may not be exposed to. The resilience of these pupils to persevere with very challenging questions under tight timescales is something that is often talked about as being desirable by universities and I hope that this is an experience that these pupils will be able to utilise during their application process.”

For the first time this year, selected Fifth Form (Year 11) pupils were invited to take part in the challenge. Many commented on the enjoyable experience of being challenged far beyond what the IGCSE syllabus would cover, and several have chosen to continue their studies of chemistry into the Sixth Form.

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