On Saturday 24th March, the Rainey Endowed School sent 3 lower 6th pupils, Annie O’Boyle, Martin Cudden and me to the Chemistry Analyst Competition held in Stranmillis University in Belfast.
Initially we met with the other schools before the competition started and had a chance to converse about what the experiments we would have to conduct might be.
We were then taken to one of the two laboratories they were using for the competition; we were in Lab 2, shown to our workstations and given an explanation in regards to what we were aiming to complete within the 3-hour time limit.
The first experiment we conducted was actually experiment 3; it involved drawing a calibration curve relating to the concentration of Fe2+ ions within solutions. We then had to use a colorimeter to find the absorbance of two different solutions and find the corresponding concentration of Fe2+. This took the longest amount of time, around 1 hour 45 minutes, due to the making up of all the solutions with different concentrations in order to plot the curve.
The second experiment we conducted was experiment 1; it consisted of a titration of which 3 accurate results were required. This was also the case for the last experiment, which was actually experiment 2. The titrations required less time than the colorimeter and took about 1 hour each to complete. As each experiment was being performed there was an answer sheet for us to complete, as well as calculations. We, as a group, took the liberty of cleaning all the apparatus we had used during the competition after we finished our last experiment.
The whole experience was extremely fun and helped build our teamwork skills as well as assisting us with our time management and analytical chemistry skills. If the chance arose to participate in this sort of experience again then I would definitely put my name forward.