How would you go about solving the problem of Rio’s green Olympic pool or improving the tensile strength of Iron Man’s suit by alloying gold with titanium?

These were just two of the questions posed in this year’s Chemistry Olympiad, the UK-wide competition organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and answered correctly by the four KES Chemists entering the competition. Indeed James Aiken (Year 13) performed so well in Round 1 of the Olympiad, scoring 60 points out of a possible 75, that he was among the top scoring 30 pupils nationally, and has been invited to Cambridge at the beginning of April to compete in Round 2 of the competition.

Four or five pupils will be selected from the 30 in Round 2 to represent the UK in the International Competition Final which takes place in Thailand this summer.

There were over 5,000 entries in this year’s competition, which is open to pupils studying A Level Chemistry, and all four KES Chemists entering the challenge did extremely well. Isaac Reid just missed out on being invited to attend Round 2 (he was in the top 40) but did achieve a Gold Award, as did fellow KES entrants, Lisa Kong and Joshua Harris. Gold, silver and bronze certificates are awarded to high-scoring students, while the top-performing students from participating UK schools are chosen by the Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad Selection Committee to progress to Round two.

We wish James the very best of luck in Round 2, which starts on the 6 April.