21st April 2016
Writing: Elliot Sweeney (Year 8)
This week, a handful of budding Year 8 chemists were privileged enough to go into the heart of the City for the annual Salter's Chemistry Festival at University College London. With Miss Kamperis leading our four-student team, we hopped on the train to Euston, eager to begin our action-packed day. After arriving at UCL, we were met with the first of our chemical conundrums - the Salter's Challenge. This challenge was a murder investigation with a little chemistry twist involving chromatography, test tube reactions and our powers of deduction. Two hours of fizzing chemicals and explosive powders later, we had managed to solve the chemical murder mystery.
After devouring ready-made sandwiches for lunch, we were confronted by the University Challenge. We sat in the lecture hall listening to our task, and our eyes widened in disbelief. Our seemingly impossible task was to combine two reactants in a flask so they had fully reacted after exactly one minute. However, this was made all the more challenging by the fact that we had to find the perfect concentration of each and the right quantity. Despite our pessimism, we decided to give it a go and, after an hour of careful measuring and violent fizzing were able to get a time of exactly 54 seconds: not bad!
I am confident that I can say that each and every one of us enjoyed ourselves greatly on this visit; and it was certainly worth a day off school!