Year 7 Winners at the 'Salters Chemistry Challenge!'

Salters trip


Well done to Matthew, Oliver, Grace and Freya for coming first at the Annual Salters Chemistry event at Southampton University on Wednesday 21st March. The judges were clearly impressed with their knowledge of Chemistry! Thank you to Dr Jackson for organising the event. Matthew has provided a detailed description on the event below:

“When we arrived, we were ushered into the main lecture theatre and there we were briefed on: what our day would be like, the rules and safety features. Next we took the long journey up five flights of stairs to the chemistry lab. We were then assigned to our station, which unfortunately was the furthest away, and there we met our assistant. Soon, Thomas, one of the judges, started to instruct us on our first task of the day, ‘The Salters Challenge!’ This was a problem simulating a murder scene. We were set the task of revealing the murderer using chromatography paper (which represented bank notes) and testing separate salts found at the crime.

After lunch we returned for the “University Challenge”. This was a test of our knowledge of chemicals. We had to create five different solutions by mixing two solids and three liquids. We created three solutions fairly quickly and soon, after lots of experimentations, we developed our fourth solution. The fifth solution was a lot harder; we tried all the possibilities without success when we realised we were missing one vital chemical! After retrieving the missing chemical, we easily finished our final solution.

Next, some of the students gave a demonstration with liquid nitrogen. After they had done all their cool tricks, they threw the element down the aisle of the lab and it separated into bubbles which speedily evaporated.

 At 2:30 we headed down for an exotic demonstration in the lecture theatre. There we saw exploding foam, multi-coloured flames and even glow-in-the-dark liquids! This educational demonstration was followed by the prize-giving. After all that hard work and suspense we prevailed and returned victorious, winning the University challenge!

The Salters was an amazing experience and was not only fun but very educational too. Winning was an added bonus and today opened my eyes to the complicated, hard work chemists do but in the end the results are very worthwhile.”

By Matthew Jansen