ChemQuest 2022 goes to St John's College

27 October 2022

Winners of ChemQuest 2022 from St John’s College: Mohnish Singh, Matthew Jeremiah, Christian Pearson

Students from St John’s College took out the 25th annual ChemQuest prize, held at the University of Waikato last night, beating nearly 150 students from 18 schools in the greater Waikato and Bay of Plenty region.

It was the 25th anniversary of the popular event which features music, demonstrations and a “glow show”. It aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry in a fun and constructive way.

Run in a quiz format with four rounds of questions, ChemQuest ties pop culture to chemistry with students competing for the coveted ChemQuest trophy and cash prizes.

University of Waikato Associate Professor Michèle Prinsep demonstrating the “methanol cannon” during ChemQuest 2022

Quiz organiser and question master, Associate Professor Michèle Prinsep, says it’s refreshing to see students from across the central North Island enjoying the experience of competing in a chemistry challenge and getting excited about science.

“It is a fun-filled evening for students studying NCEA level 2 Chemistry and is always a hard fought contest.”

“This year, we had an enthusiastic and engaged group of students competing”, says

Michèle. “They really seemed to enjoy themselves.”

The annual after-school event is also a unique opportunity for students considering coming to university to explore the beautiful University of Waikato Hamilton campus and experience first-hand the atmosphere of a large lecture theatre.

“It’s designed to be accessible to Year 12 students but the experience takes them beyond the syllabus,” she says.

“The quiz encourages students to measure themselves against fellow students who share the same passion without it feeling like homework. The music and pizza add to the atmosphere, plus we even give teams a jeopardy card which doubles their points, just to add a little chaos into the competition.”

ChemQuest is generously sponsored by the Waikato branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, Hill Laboratories and the University of Waikato’s School of Science. Thanks to the numerous Chemistry staff and students who contributed to make the event a very successful one.

McGregor Small (Hill Laboratories), University of Waikato Associate Professor Michèle Prinsep (competition organiser and quiz master), St John's College winners Mohnish Singh, Matthew Jeremiah, Christian Pearson, and Peter Allen from Hill Laboratories
Prizes were awarded as follows:
  • 1st Place: St John’s College: (Matthew Jeremiah, Christian Pearson, Mohnish Singh)
  • 2nd Place: Hamilton Girls’ High School: (Marina Aleksic, Kennedy Hosking, Kiera
  • Sullivan)
  • 3rd Place: Hamilton Boys’ High School: (Josef Gillgren, Alex Liu, Alexander Mayo)
  • 4th Place: Rototuna Senior High School: (Jaylah Heaton, Zoe Simonson, Alannah Wrigg)
  • 5th Place: Hamilton Christian School: (Olivia Bennett, Anika Botha, Joshua Shayak)

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