The 2019 Top of the Bench National Final took place on 9th March at the University of Birmingham.

During this academic year, 34 Local Sections from the UK and Belgium ran regional heats which is a fantastic number of schools and students we have engaged with.

A total of 32 schools and 128 students entered the National Final.

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This year’s theme was Materials and after being welcomed by Dr Mark Read from The University of Birmingham and Steve Nelmes from the RSC, the students sat an exam paper in the Chemistry department’s lecture theatre. After lunch, the students went into brand new chemistry labs for the group practical challenge. During this time, their teachers enjoyed a talk from Kate Whetter and Emily Howe from the RSC about support we can offer. The day rounded off with an interactive lecture by the university, whilst behind the scenes RSC staff and volunteers from the university were marking exam and practical papers!

Congratulations to the winning school, Bishop Wordsworth School from the Mid-Southern Countries Local Section. The Jacqui Clee Award (for the student who has demonstrated an outstanding individual contribution to the day) was given to a student from Bolton School Girls Division, Manchester and District Local Section. A list of all schools that took part and their ranking is attached.

Thank you to all our members involved in Top of the Bench for your commitment to the competition. The work our Local Sections carry out by running the regional heats was recognised at the prize giving by Nicole Morgan, the Interim Director of Education and Professional Practice at the RSC



Top of the Bench


Top of the Bench

Preliminary Round

Top of the Bench

Regional Final