Truro School pupils follow in the footsteps of Humphry Davy

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By Em_Williams | Saturday, November 17, 2012, 20:31

Three Upper Sixth students from Truro School have attended a special presentation ceremony at the Royal Institution to celebrate their outstanding success in the 2012 Lower Sixth Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, a national competition set up by St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Out of over 4300 entrants from most of the country's top schools and Sixth Forms, the three A-level chemists, Jon Mailes, Nat Keymer and David Grant, were placed second, fifth and ninth. The three students were presented with special awards for their outstanding performances.

Dr Peter Wothers of Cambridge University stated "having one student attaining such a high level of success within a school would be impressive enough, but to have three is truly remarkable."

Head of Chemistry at Truro School, Mr Chris Shaw, said: "It is fitting that three chemistry students from Cornwall should be recognised for their academic excellence here at the RI, where Humphry Davy did so much to promote the sciences back at the turn of the nineteenth Century and, in particular, in the 200th anniversary year of his knighthood."

As part of the celebration, Jon treaded the boards of the RI's lecture theatre and presented a short talk on Helium, an element unknown until well after Davy's death, whilst Nat chose a presentation on the most Cornish of chemical elements, tin.

The Royal Institution (RI) in London is the oldest independent research body in the world, and many important scientific discoveries of the last 200 years were made there. Davy, born in Penzance in 1778, was educated at both Penzance and Truro Grammar Schools and went on to research and lecture in chemistry at the RI in 1801, where he quickly established himself as the foremost scientist of his day.

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