Unit 1 Chemistry students had a chance to develop their practical skills on Tuesday when they competed in the 2017 Titration Competition, run by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).

The students worked in four teams of three to perform an acid-based titration exercise based on a real-life example. Their client, The Vinegar and Sauce Company, needed to know the concentrations of three samples of ethanoic acid – commonly known as vinegar.

Each team was required to standardise a sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution against a supplied hydrochloric acid (HCl) solution and then is to standardise three acetic acid solutions with the sodium hydroxide solution.

Judging of the students’ work will be based on the values each team reports for the titres and concentrations of the NaOH and acetic acid solutions. Teams will be ranked on how close they get to the actual concentration.

The top teams in each State competition will be put forward to represent their state in the National Finals in October. All national finalists receive a gold or silver badge and a team plaque is awarded to outstanding teams.

“It’s such a valuable experience for the students,” Science teacher Jane Fong said. “It’s a great opportunity to gain practical experience in the lab and apply the science to a real-life situation.”