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Teams form bonds for chemistry competition at CQUni campuses

Published:02 August 2019

Heights College (Rockhampton) competitors L-R Elvis Jehle, Angel Sabu and Alina John

Around 30 school chemistry teams have competed at CQUniversity’s Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg campuses (and in their own school labs in Gladstone and Maryborough).

They were striving for the chance to compete in national finals of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Schools Titration Competition, also known as the Australian National Chemical Analysis Competition.

Equal first place went to Heights College (Team 1) from Rockhampton and the Whitsunday Anglican School (Team 1).

The perpetual QAL trophy for the CQ regional winners will be engraved and presented to these schools, which will share the trophy over the next 12 months.  Members of the winning teams will receive a plaque/medal from RACI.

Teams selected for further participation in the national competition were:  Heights College (Team 1) (1st prize); Whitsunday Anglican School Team 1) (1st prize); Heights College (Team 2)  (2nd prize); Bundaberg North State High School (Team 2) (finalist).

"The competitors have been seeking the most accurate analysis of chemical solutions," says CQUniversity Chemistry lecturer Leanne Voss.

"Titrations are all about good volumetric skills, precision in measuring and analytical skills in detecting titration endpoints in order to determine the concentration of a chemical solution,” Ms Voss says.

“Students must be trained carefully to develop the skills needed to handle precise volumetric apparatus (i.e. pipette and burette) and deliver the correct volumes for the reaction.

“This analytical skill is very important for analysts working in industrial, chemical and clinical laboratories.”

For the annual Titration Competition, each three-member team firstly standardises (determines the concentration of) a sodium hydroxide solution before using it to determine the concentration of an acetic acid solution.