HBHS win Analytical Chemistry Prize at the University of Waikato

Associate Professor and event organiser Dr Michele Princep reports on the University of Waikato Analytical Chemistry competition:

This annual event was held on Wednesday 15th June.  Invitations were sent to schools in the wider Waikato/Bay of Plenty region to send teams of four students to the University for the day to carry out an analysis.   A total of 22 teams competed in the event.

The task was to analyse a sample of BaCl2.nH2O using a gravimetric procedure for Ba2+and a volumetric method for Cl-. This allowed the value of n to be calculated in the empirical formula by difference. This was a demanding task in the time available but some excellent results were achieved.

The competition allowed enthusiastic Year 13 chemists to spend a day in the University laboratories working on an experiment that would be beyond the resources of their schools.

Rivalry was fierce but the main emphasis was on enjoying the experience and meeting students from other schools.

For the fourth year in a row, a team from Hamilton Boys’ High School won the competition and another team from the school also gained third place.

Overall results were:

1st Prize:   HBHS 1 (pictured): Lachlan Cate, Ben Lambourne, Cameron Paul and Cameron Salisbury

2nd Prize:  Tauranga Girls’ College

3rd Prize:  HBHS 2:  Lucas Clarke, Matthew Handford, Tai Lohrer and Isaac Poole

4th Prize:  Waikato Diocesan School for Girls

5th Prize:  Putaruru College

The day involved many of the Chemistry Department staff in setting up the competition and supervising the labs. Bryant Hall and Student Village provided excellent lunches (sponsored by the Waikato Branch of the NZIC) and Hill Laboratories generously donated the prizes.

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