Year 12 Chemistry students took on the Royal Society of Chemistry Young Analyst competition in association with Northumbria University.

This was a full day of practical laboratory work carrying out advanced analytical techniques on samples provided by Northumbria University. Students had to work collaboratively to carry out the tasks efficiently and accurately.

Our students were analytical chemists and had to assist the local Trading Standards Office in investigating some unusual products on sale at the Super Sugar Candy Store. The store sells sweets, treats, and drinks from around the world, but Trading Standards suspected that some of the items contained ingredients that were restricted or contained incorrect amounts.

Students were provided with some samples of items taken from the store for analysis and had to use skills as analytical chemists to determine if the items were safe for consumption and had the correct ingredients on the packaging.

It was a very enjoyable day of laboratory exercises that were well-planned and delivered competitively. Results for each group were submitted online to the Royal Society of Chemistry and the winning team was Tamanna Shaikh, Alisha Sattar and Faatimah Patel.

Dr Saunders said “Well done to all who took part, this was a particularly challenging event compared to previous years and saw the students face unfamiliar practical techniques that they would not ordinarily encounter until Year 13, or at university.

Feedback from students taking part was great:

“We feel as though it enhanced our practical skills, and we feel more confident doing practical work with little assistance. We enjoyed the day – thank you.”

“It was very stressful but fun because it encouraged critical thinking, teamwork and analytical skills.”

“It was fun to try chemistry practicals that can be applied to real life. We learnt many skills in these new practicals which we enjoyed doing.”

“Great fun and confidence boosting, would do it again and recommend it to others.”