Chemistry A level students Scarlett Steele and Melanie Stewart were awarded Bronze in the annual Cambridge Chemistry Challenge last summer.
The Chemistry Challenge is organised by St. Catherine’s College Cambridge, and The Henley College has a tradition of entering students going back several years.
The challenge is a demanding test of 1st year chemistry knowledge, stretching students and encouraging them to solve unfamiliar problems using their current understanding.
Questions are focused on the structure of a compound called benzene, and the probable reactions of a mythical metal. Under normal circumstances students would be given some help and guidance from staff, but due to the pandemic students had to prepare for the challenge by themselves.
As the pandemic put a stop to exams and tests last summer, Melanie and Scarlett worked in their own homes for two hours, with the cameras on their laptops turned on so they could be supervised remotely by their Chemistry teacher, Colin Suttie, who marked the test papers.
After a short wait the girls were informed that they had achieved the equivalent of a bronze award, which was a significant achievement.
Unfortunately due to the disruptions of the pandemic, Melanie and Scarlett didn’t receive their certificates until October, but it was worth the wait and both students, along with teacher Colin, are very proud of their award and achievement.