Bolton School Senior Boys

Team Wins Greater Manchester Chemquiz

A team of four Boys’ Division pupils travelled to Manchester Metropolitan University to take part in this year’s Greater Manchester Chemquiz. There they faced off against one hundred and twenty fellow chemists from schools across Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester for the honour of lifting the trophy.

The team was made up of Year 8 pupils Thomas Yates and Thomas Britton, James Leese-Weller from Year 9, and Matthew Schaffel from Year 10. To compete, the boys had to take part in three sections: a team-based practical activity, answering questions on a series of multi-media chemistry demonstrations, and a quiz round which included some questions of A Level standard.

“With over thirty teams participating, including most of the top independent and state grammar schools, this is a really competitive competition,” said Dr Mike Yates, the Boys’ Division Head of Science. “Bolton School has a tradition of performing well over the past sixteen years, having won once, four years ago, and accumulated a significant number of runners-up trophies – including last year when we were second by 0.1% at the end of the day!”

The winning team must perform well in each category, and the Bolton School boy certainly achieved this. They finished first in the demonstrations challenge, third in the laboratory exercise and sixth in the quiz, resulting in an overall victory by a margin of 2%.

As the Chemquiz winners, the Bolton School team will go on to represent the region in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Top of the Bench competition next year.

Thomas said, “It was amazing to work in the university chemistry labs. We really worked well together as a team which is why we finished really high in the lab exercise. It was a really enjoyable day, the activities were fun and it was a great day out.”

James added, “It was nice to be invited to represent the School again this year. It was an interesting and fun day and we all got on well together. All the exercises were enjoyable and I am looking forward to competing in the final.”

Matthew said, “It's great to have attended Chemquiz this year, and the fact we have won, especially after two years of coming second, is an incredibly welcome change. I thought we worked well as a team on the day, performing well in all sections of the competition. I hope that we will be able to repeat this when we go to the national finals next year.”

Chemquiz 2016 was organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Manchester and District Section, and was sponsored by chemical company BASF.

Chemquiz 2016 winners with Oliver Sutcliffe from Manchester Metropolitan University and Chris Wilson from sponsors BASF - picture by BASF

Chemquiz 2016 winners Thomas, James, Thomas and Matthew with Oliver Sutcliffe from Manchester Metropolitan University and Chris Wilson from sponsors BASF. Picture by BASF.