Francesca strikes gold!
Chemistry Challenge

Francesca strikes gold!


Francesca Lai has won a Gold award in the inaugural Cambridge Chemistry Challenge for Sixth Form Chemists.

The ninety minute paper tested problem-solving abilities rather than factual recall and deliberately contained material that was unfamiliar to students.

Some schools complained that the paper was too mathematical, but organiser Dr Peter Wothers from St Catharine's College, Cambridge said, 'Mathematics remains an important part of any science degree. The Maths in the paper actually required nothing more challenging than the use of Pythagoras' Theorem; the hard part was seeing how the Maths applied to the particular problem.'

  • Jing Jing Cai and Minjia Pan were awarded Silver.
  • Sabrina Au, Renee Chung, Joyce Day-Hall, Silver Sun and Tina Xu were awarded Copper.

2,808 AS and A2  level  students entered the challenge, of whom 35 were awarded the highest Roentgenium award, 166 Gold, 436 Silver and 952 Copper.

If you are interested in looking at the paper, checking the answers or trying the monthly Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, go to

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