Young scientists secure Olympiad medals

Priestley's biology Olympians
Priestley’s biology Olympians

PRIESTLEY’S science students have been testing themselves in several Olympiads designed to challenge the best young chemists and biologists in the country.

The college’s entrants took home a mixture of gold, silver and bronze awards from the Biology and Chemistry Olympiads after pitting their wits against young people from all over the UK.

“These kinds of events are great because they test students’ knowledge beyond what we study in college,” said Barbara Schofield, Head of Chemistry at Priestley.

“It is ideal preparation for university and an enjoyable experience for those students who want to challenge themselves.”

The first question in the Chemistry Olympiad is designed to stimulate debate and enthusiasm for the science. It also provides a good opportunity to develop some of the skills required for study at university and beyond.

There were 19 second year students from Priestley who took on the tough, two hour exam.

Nationally 4,574 students sat the paper with only 7% achieving the prestigious gold award. Priestley’s Christopher Hammond and Katy Webb were two of those students.

Priestley also got five silver awards (28% nationally) and five bronze.

“It was our best results ever in the competition,” said Barbara.

Priestley's Chemistry Olympians
Priestley’s Chemistry Olympians

In the Biology Olympiad there was similar success for Priestley students with the college enjoying its best ever year for medals.

There were 13 entrants who each sat a two-hour, multiple choice exam, which was not necessarily syllabus-specific.

Chris Hammond, who is going to Pembroke College Oxford to study medicine after completing his Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology A Levels, earned Priestley’s first gold medal in the event.

The former Bridgewater High School pupil, scored highly enough to sit the Round Two paper.

“All the students seemed to enjoy the experience and did really well in the competition,” said Doctor Louise Norbury, Head of Biology at Priestley.

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