On Wednesday 22nd of June, four members of 8C, Tom, Israel, Olivia and Mallika, had the opportunity to go to York University to take part in the Salter's Festival of Chemistry - a day of chemistry and challenges. We were competing against eleven other schools. In the first half of the day we competed in the ‘Salter's Challenge’ - we had to solve a murder mystery using our chromatography, safety, practical and teamwork skills.
Then in the afternoon we were set the ‘University Challenge’: to make an alternative for motor oil, since motor oil is made of non renewable resources, which are running out. We were given a variety of plant oils which we had to blend together to get the same viscosity as the motor oil. After a lot of trial and error, we finally got a blend that was very close to the real thing. We decided to repeat our results too. We were happy with our results, but we thought we wouldn't be the winners since we were competing against students from other schools who were also very talented.
After completing the University Challenge we had a really interesting lecture about colourful chemistry and we saw a lot of amazing experiments. Then, the university staff announced the winners - we didn't win anything for the Salters’ Challenge but in the University Challenge we came first! The judges said we had a good blend of oils, tidy workspaces, good safety and teamwork and thought it was sensible that we repeated our results. We were all pleased with ourselves as we did better than we expected. I thought that this was a great opportunity as I learnt loads and it was actually really fun getting to work in a professional laboratory at a university.