Katikati College has taken out the Waikato and Bay of Plenty Chemquest competition for the first time.

It was a close contest on Wednesday night with only two marks separating first and fifth places. First place went to Fergus Chinnery, Lucy Douglas and Steven Zhang from Katikati College.

The students were awarded the James and Wells trophy, $150 and a gold medal each.
This was the first time in Chemquest history Katikati College won first place.

Second and third places went to teams from Hillcrest High School and Tauranga Boys' College respectively, followed by a team from Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in fourth place and Whakatane High School coming in fifth.

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The annual chemistry quiz gives Year 12 chemistry students the chance to put their chemistry knowledge to the test in a pop quiz-style challenge.

Questions relied on a basic knowledge of chemistry and general knowledge, and were based on demonstrations featuring exploding hydrogen balloons, light sticks and a flying astronaut, while others involved well-known songs and movies that referenced chemistry.

Event organiser Associate Professor Michèle Prinsep said it was good to see prizes distributed all across the region.

"Chemquest is very well supported by both local and regional schools with some teams travelling from as far as the Bay of Plenty and Taupo to participate."

The after-school event was held on the University of Waikato campus on October 19 and attended by about 200 students from schools from Hamilton, the wider Waikato region, the Bay of Plenty and Taupo.

ChemQuest is sponsored by the Waikato branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, Hill Laboratories, James & Wells Intellectual Property and the University of Waikato's Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Prizes Awarded:

1st Place: Katikati College: (Fergus Chinnery, Lucy Douglas, Steven Zhang)

2nd Place: Hillcrest High School: (Grace Zheng, Kristen Xu, Annabel Zhou)

3rd Place: Tauranga Boys' College: (Fraser Blakeway, Adam Hitchner, MD Shadman Jahin)

4th Place: Waikato Diocesan School for Girls: (Devon Bree, Katherine Han, Chelsea Lin)

5th Place: Whakatane High School: (Thomas Brownless, Ashlee Waikawa, Te Rameka Waldon)