Three A Level Chemistry students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have been narrowly pipped to the post as regional winners of the National Schools’ Analyst Competition.

Juwairiyah Daar, Wannia Jamil and Kiran Sharif attended the regional heats of this prestigious Chemistry competition, which is organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and which was held at the University of Central Lancashire. The competition is open to all first year Sixth Form AS Chemistry (or equivalent) students and the teams who compete are required to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs. These are judged for skill, understanding and accuracy and are intended to promote team work and safety in the laboratory. Each competition aims to provide some tasks which are relatively familiar to the students such as titrations and others which are likely to be unfamiliar, such as chromatographic separations or atomic and molecular spectroscopy. In this way, it is hoped that the competitors will learn new skills, as well as demonstrate their existing knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical science.

The College Team were up against stiff competition, beating teams from top colleges, grammar and independent schools, and were narrowly beaten into second place by Bolton School Boys’ Division

Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form has an outstanding reputation for excellence in the Sciences and in 2012 was awarded STEM Assured Status by the New Engineering Foundation, which recognises innovation and the College’s commitment to ensuring industry relevance in its Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths provision.  Therefore, the College was thrilled by the success of its young Chemists, who only narrowly avoided a place at the National Finals.

Chemistry Tutor Robin Leyland said, “The girls worked extremely hard during the competition, showing academic ability as well as teamwork, using practical techniques to solve chemistry problems. The Teams were also given tours of the University’s laboratories and facilities, which gave them the opportunity to experience life at University. The girls performed really well and were narrowly beaten into second place, but I am sure they have great futures ahead of them.”