Cambridge Chemistry Race

6th February 2023
On Saturday 4 February, Dr Duerden Brown, Dr Rhodes, Mr Murtland and our team of Year 13 chemistry students –  aptly named The Atom Family: Betty Chamberlain, Fope Olusola, Rucha Korde, Lucy Hamblett and Mathusa Logeswaran – visited the  Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge to take part in the Cambridge Chemistry Race.  The Chemistry Race is a chemistry competition for teams of 3-5 sixth-form students from Sixth Forms and colleges around the country, organised by students at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The teams race against each other in solving chemistry related problems in real time.  The goal of each team is to answer as many questions as they can within the two-hour time limit.  Once a question is answered successfully, the team is presented with a new one and a live leader board is updated. Half an hour before the race ends, the ranking is hidden and whoever gets the most points within the time limit wins with the final winners announced at the closing ceremony.

The questions range from easy riddles through tasks of A-levels difficulty to complex chemical problems, aimed at testing test problem solving skills and chemical understanding.

For two hours, the lecture theatres were buzzing with sharp students, discussing challenging problems and rushing to the marking posts to submit their solutions. The Atom Family did incredibly well, showing an amazing amount of teamwork when tackling difficult questions as well as creativity and wits to solve many problems way beyond the curriculum, earning an impressive 58 points !


If you are a sixth-form student interested in science, then join us for this amazing opportunity next year.  Remember, we are not looking for chemistry geniuses, but for students who love science as much as we do; the main aim of the competition is for participants to enjoy the thought-provoking questions with a little bit of the race thrill !


Dr S Duerden-Brown

Head of Chemistry

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