Hamilton Boys’ High makes its mark at Waikato chemistry challenge

23 June 2015

HBHS winner

From left: Dr Michèle Prinsep and Hamilton Boy’s High School’s winning team of Christopher Mayo, Visharn Sathiyakumar, Lucas Sherlock and Hayden Leeat the 2015 NZIC Analytical Chemistry Competition.

A Hamilton Boys' High School (HBHS) team was awarded first place at the annual NZIC Analytical Chemistry Competition on Wednesday 17 June.

The University of Waikato event challenged 92 enthusiastic Year 13 students to spend a day in the University's chemistry laboratories.

This was the third consecutive year HBHS won the competition. St Peter's School placed second with a marginal difference between theirs and the HBHS Hamilton Boys' High School team results.

"The task was to analyse the individual levels of nickel and sulphate ions in a sample of nickel sulphate and to use these values to determine how many water molecules were associated with each nickel sulphate molecule. One pair from each group of four used a gravimetric procedure to find the nickel ion content, while the other half of the team used a volumetric method to find the sulphate ion level," says competition judge and key organiser, Dr Michèle Prinsep.

First place went to Hayden Lee, Christopher Mayo, Visharn Sathiyakumar and Lucas Sherlock from HBHS, while second place was awarded to Sam Frengley, Erin Gatenby, Shenaz Husain and Rishi Kumar from St Peter's.

"This year, the top few teams were very close and it was difficult to separate them. The winning team from Hamilton Boys' High School however ultimately achieved a near perfect result," says Dr Prinsep.

Tauranga Girls' College was awarded third place, followed by Pukekohe High School in fourth and Mount Maunganui College in fifth place.

Twenty-three teams of four students from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions entered in this year's competition. All students were treated to lunch sponsored by the Waikato branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC), at the University's halls of residence. The winning team received $200 from sponsor Hill Laboratories and a trophy, with prize money also awarded to all other place-getters.

View more photos from the event.