Explosive Chemistry festival

Friday, 31 March 2017 - 7:51am

On the last day of term, four keen L4 chemistry students travelled to Oxford University's Chemistry Department to take part in the Salter's Chemistry Festival.

There were two competitions for the 15 schools that entered and no teacher help was allowed. All the experimenting took place in one of the working undergraduate labs and the pupils were continuously assessed by the university staff for their organisation and teamwork skills.

In the morning the challenge was a "who dunnit?" problem-solving exercise with chromatography and other chemical tests.  

After a picnic lunch in the University Parks, it was back to the lab for the special University Challenge. This was a new experiment involving liquid crystals which changed colour at different temperatures. The girls had to make observations and then use them to identify another type of crystal. The Headington team managed to get the nearest result to the correct answer and were very excited to win first prize! Well done Hannah, Izzi, Tegen and Katerina.

The afternoon was rounded off with some fantastic explosions and demonstrations with frozen flowers, bubbles of carbon dioxide and some ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. A great way to end the term!

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