On Tuesday 10th May, four of our aspiring scientists travelled to the John Moore University, Liverpool for the Salter’s Science Competition. They were: Edward, Rhys, Sarah, and Alice. Entrants for this competition are from a number of schools in the North West of England and the pupils are typically drawn from Year 8 and 9 classes.

Given the abilities of our current Year 7, I decided to enter a young team this year. The day is primarily designed to give pupils an opportunity to experience university laboratories and, also, develop some of the key skills that are required to be a forensic scientist.

Salter's Chemistry Competition Sedbergh Junior School 2

In the morning session, each group were provided with traces of white powder and an ink stained handkerchief which were found on a ‘murder victim’. Information written in CODE had to be decrypted before the group could progress on to a series of quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Throughout the day, pupils were assessed not only on their abilities to carry out scientific tasks but also on their proficiencies to generate accurate data and interpret these using their collective powers of deduction.

Salter's Chemistry Competition Sedbergh Junior School 3

The day culminated in the presentation of a forensic report upon which the pupils were judged. Sadly, we did not better or enjoy a repeat of our 2nd and 3rd places in the last two years; however, I am positive that this quartet of scientists will have gained much from the experience.

Our thanks to the event organisers: Dr Ian Bradshaw, Charlotte Still (RSC) and Stephanie Mearns (Salter’s).

Dr Hoskin

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