25th Jan, 2020

Malvern College scientists attempt to break Periodic Table World Record

A TEAM of young scientists from Malvern College are hoping to have set a new world record for memorising all the elements on the periodic table and arranging them in order in the quickest time possible.

The winning team of Clemens Tuczka, Jyothirmay Baldota, Max Dean, Arrhat Daga managed the feat in just 2mins, 33secs shaving a considerable amount off the official record which stands at 3mins 15.

They had to arrange the 118 cards on a table beginning with them all randomly mixed up in a box.

The time started when the box was opened so it was crucial teams got the cards out quickly and put them in some sort of order.

Every single element had to be in the right place so careful checking was key.

Each team of four pupils from the college’s 11 houses trained hard to learn the 118 elements and their position in the table developed in 1869 by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.

They then battled it out, against the clock, their every move videoed to prove to the rigorous scrutineers that their attempts were entirely fair and their times accurate.

It is a timely attempt as this year is the 150th anniversary of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table.

Stewart Vaughan, the college’s head of chemistry, said: “I devised the challenge as the Chemistry round of the Inter-House Science competition.

“It’s quite a task to memorise the entire table from scratch, especially as the teams were a mix of ages with no more than two sixth-formers.

“The event went really well with an incredible buzz.

“We had a number of close calls and it was really competitive.

“It was great to see the different strategies each of the teams used, and most impressively the levels of support and teamwork on show.”

The video has been submitted to the official Guinness World Record adjudicators and the team should find out in the coming weeks if they have been successful.

Mr Vaughan added: “Even if their attempt isn’t accepted, though, the challenge allowed the pupils to demonstrate real flair for working collaboratively and dynamically.

“It was clear how much they all enjoyed the event, and we’ve already been asked if we can run it again, and possibly make it even harder, next year.”

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