Two Western Australian secondary school students delivered a medal-winning performance at an international chemistry competition, described as the "Olympics of Chemistry".
The pair, who formed half of the Australian team, were taught by Murdoch University Adjunct Professor Jennifer Searcy. The students faced two gruelling five-hour exams as they competed against teams from over 70 countries at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad in Moscow.
"The competition was pretty tough and the Russian academics put together some really challenging problems," said Sam Alsop, a Year 11 student at Frederick Irwin Anglican School in Mandurah.
Sam Alsop was awarded a silver medal, meaning he was in the top 30 per cent of competitors, while teammate Ben Anandappa's bronze medal placed him among the top 60 per cent.
"The exams were really hard. I wasn't sure how I'd go, but I was hopeful and am very happy with a bronze medal," said Ben Anandappa, who is currently completing Year 12 at CBC Fremantle.
"Moscow was beautiful and I really enjoyed meeting so many different people from all over the world. We got along particularly well with the teams from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands."
Sam agreed, describing the competition as "an experience he'll never forget".
"It was a really friendly environment, with teams from all over the world studying together and we also learnt about life in different countries," he said.
"Before Moscow, we spent a wonderful week at Cambridge University with the United Kingdom Olympiad team."
Professor Searcy runs after school classes in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry three times a week for students 10 years and older. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0407 982 349.