St Mary's Calne girls at 'Top of the Bench' competitionTop of the Bench is a national competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) for 14 to 16-year-old students. The competition starts in the RSC local sections where competition heats are organised for schools in the local area to select a team to represent the local section in the UK Final.
The teams should consist of two students from UIV, one from LV and one from UV; however, due to mock exams the St Mary’s Calne team took two LV and was made up of Ellie and Lauren (UIV) and Georgia and Shubha (LV).

This was the first time that St Mary’s has taken part in the competition and the girls were keen to find out exactly what the day would entail. They undertook four practical exercises in the state-of-the-art teaching laboratories at Bristol University, that were heavily reliant on team work. Also included in the tasks were techniques such as spectrophotometry, which they had not come across before. After the competition they were treated to a ‘whizz bang’ demonstration lecture by Tim Harrison, Bristol ChemLabS Director of Outreach.

The girls were placed a fantastic second out of the 12 teams competing, ahead of schools such as Dauntsey’s, Cheltenham Ladies' College and Sherborne. In true scientific style they were praised by the judges for their careful ‘recording of additional observations.' An excellent result from a very enjoyable day out.