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More than 30 schools compete in chemistry competition at Curtin

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Curtin University played host to a major chemistry competition last week that pitted 230 students from more than 30 schools against each other, with the winners to go on to the national finals.

Associate Professor Mauro Mocerino, from Curtin’s Department of Chemistry and Chair of the RACI WA Chemical Education Group, said the RACI Titration Stakes contest was a good test of key scientific skills.

“Titration involves the measuring of levels of acidity in a solution and is a basic skill needed if students are to go on and work with complex chemicals,” Associate Professor Mocerino said.

The competition usually involves teams of three senior high school students working together to determine the levels of acid in three different solutions of vinegar.

Held in the Curtin Resources and Chemistry Precinct for the first time, Professor Mocerino said it was a great opportunity for high school students to work in cutting-edge research laboratories.

“For students interested in science, the Titration Stakes offer a great experience to work in a real lab under real pressure,” he said.

Titration Stakes Convener, Dr Maree Baddock, said this year’s competition had been a great success.

“It was really satisfying to see over 75 teams from more than 30 schools present at the event,” Dr Baddock said.

“Hopefully it will help inspire some of these students to continue studying science.”

The Titration Stakes are organised each year by the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute (RACI) and has been held at annually Curtin for over 25 years.

The winning team were from Aquinas College, Ursula Frayne Catholic College and Chisholm Catholic College.

The top 15 teams will go on to compete in the national finals in September.

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