Entered only by the nation's best young brains, the Olympiad is designed to demand on the spot expertise, problem solution and logic well beyond the demands of the standard A-Level curriculum.
King's Head of Chemistry, Louise Watkins, noted that the calibre of these local pupils' performance affirms Macclesfield's status as one of the chemical industry's word wide hubs. Louise said: "First with ICI and now AstraZeneca, Macclesfield has been at the forefront of British innovation, recruiting hundreds of King's pupils over the years. To have 10 silver and bronze medalists proves that tradition continues today.”
"What is more, the students' passion for the subject shows how today's young chemists are determined to solve the urgent problems facing mankind."
Silver medallist Thomas Sheridan, who wants to study Medicine at Leeds, said: "In the past, chemists have produced non-biodegradable plastics that will break down intomicro-plastics that can get into the food chain, kill fish, pollute the oceans and eventually cause great harm to both mankind the planet. I want to be part of a generation that goes about solving those problems, creating water-soluble plastics that can degrade in a few days."
Fellow Silver medallist Ben O'Donnell, who is holding an offer from Oxford to study Biochemistry, added: "We have to look deeper into the natural world and isolate the bacteria that can perform those functions. It is chemistry that has the answer to the problems chemistry has created."
School Captain Nick Reynolds, who missed out on the top gold award by one mark and who wants to go up to Durham to read Natural Sciences, said: "Chemistry is about the real world and real life problems that affect all of us. It demands intensive problem solving and innovation and is also, as it happens, great fun to study."
Louise Watkins, who has over 60 Sixth Form students currently studying Chemistry at A-Level, added: "The Olympiad is undergraduate level chemistry for A-Level students and is extremely hardwork, but all our pupils volunteered to enter."
Louise added: "Chemistry is about the fabric of life and the study of all materials. It's a privilege to teach these students. They are extremely hardworking, but also funny, intelligent and very challenging themselves. Some of the questions they ask can be really very taxing.”
The question setters were not without their own sense of humour, setting one question about whether cheese, given certain bacterial conditions, would outlast the Liz Truss Premiership and actually make it past 50 days.