Four chemistry students from The Henley College recently took part in the annual Cambridge Chemistry Olympiad.
Second year students Matt Biggs, Will Martin, Reuben Rose and Archie Wilson, were up against 9000 students from other schools and colleges across the country, and did phenomenally well, with two students achieving Gold awards, putting them in the top 9% of all students who took part, and two students gaining Silver awards, putting them in the top 30%.
The Olympiad tests students on topics which are not on any A Level syllabus but are new and topical and would be a challenge for students on a chemistry degree course. This year the paper had questions about the chemistry of coronavirus testing and about storing vaccines. As well as testing students’ chemical knowledge, the Olympiad also tests their problem-solving skills and mathematical ability.
Chemistry teacher Colin Suttie, gave the students some guidance and did practice sessions in the weeks leading up to the Olympiad, but the students themselves put a lot of effort into preparing and used past questions to practice.
Speaking about his students’ success, Colin said: “We entered the Olympiad last year and did well, but this year, the students did even better and I am incredibly proud of their achievements and their continued dedication to excelling in this subject.”