Win for PLC Sydney Titration Team
The NSW Schools Titration Competition was held on 12 and 13 June at universities and schools across the state. Eight PLC Sydney teams competed at the University of New South Wales in the first-year Chemistry Laboratories. They performed with great skill, taking out first and third places in a field of 27 teams. We are hoping their scores will result in an invitation to compete in the National Final in September.
What is titrating?
Titration is a very accurate method of determining the concentration of an acid or base by performing a series of neutralisation reactions using coloured indicators. The answers required are so precise that even half a drop of acid lost can result in large errors. The goal of the competition is to score a perfect zero! Students compete in teams of three; they titrate independently but their scores are combined. Teams that manage to score less than 100 are awarded Excellence and under 200 are awarded Merit.
The students were trained by Mrs Hendriks during Titration Club sessions held at lunchtime and after school. For Year 11 students, titrating is a totally new skill so hours of training were essential; however, Year 12 Chemistry students felt very prepared after a gruelling titration assessment task earlier in the year. The club’s popularity has grown exponentially in recent years with over 40 students participating and resulting in the necessity for an unprecedented selection process.
The team awarded first place with Excellence consisted of Jasmine Atkins, Taylor Ly and Holly Fredericks (pictured above), and the team awarded third place with Merit consisted of Emma Carnuccio, Philippa Lam and Catherine Taylor, all from Year 11. Emma Carnuccio, Annie Hong and Amanda Sieber all scored one, demonstrating great skill. Eight students scored under ten. All of the PLC Sydney competitors looked confident and competent throughout the 90-minute session.
The competition is excellent preparation for the titration component of the HSC Chemistry course and provides a valuable opportunity for student to witness university life. The students also attended the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s annual Nyholm Youth Lecture presented by a young, highly accomplished chemist from the University of Sydney, Dr Elizabeth New. Her work in the field of fluorescence as a technique for tracking molecules in the body to better understand disease was fascinating and inspiring.
Congratulations to our winning team and of course to all of the students who participated in Titration Club, working hard to learn a new skill.