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An Ode to Titration: Winners are Grinners

Our Year 12 Chemistry students recently competed in a closely contested Interhouse Titration competition. And our talented Science Teacher, Ms Horsham penned this ode to them.

I have a secret and it belongs to me.
Well me, Ms Macqueen, and the engraver that engraved the trophy.
So, this secret with you, I’m about to share,
And I know that you all, especially Year 12 chemists really care.

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Titration again, the rules, let me remind you,
We make up the rules and there are only a few.
The aim of the game was to analyse the concentration of an acid solution,
By titration, a volumetric analytical technique, that involves neutralisation.

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First teams make an acid standard solution.
This is done by dissolving potassium hydrogen phthalate with accurate dilution.
Don’t be alarmed by these long chemical names,
It’s a monoprotic acid and just part of the game.

They then use this acid standard whose concentration is known exactly
To analyse a base with a burette and pipette practically.
The acid is put into the pipette and 25ml delivered into a flask.
Sounds confusing? Bear with me, it’s not too difficult to grasp.

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Phenolphthalein, an indicator is added, and the solution remains clear,
Then sodium hydroxide, a base is added, adding too much is the bit the teams fear.
For exact neutralisation is what we are after.
In CLAB 1 and 2, it’s tense, it’s competitive, but there is some fun and laughter.

When neutralisation occurs, the solution goes just pink,
But it’s not as easy as you might think,
Because then with this base they neutralise vinegar that was accurately diluted.
Errors in technique and calculations are multiplying and when results submitted, they cannot be refuted.

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This year the competition was tight, one of the tightest I’ve ever seen.
Third place we have Allard, Bella and Emily only 0.0006 from the exact result, not bad…almost a fulfilled dream.
Second place was Jazzy and Alyssa, another Allard team,
0.0005 degree of error, these are such good results, with joy I could scream!

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And in first place, never has this happened before,
With an error of 0.0004,
Two joint winners.
These winners are grinners.
For Palmer, Rachel and Sophie and then, Maddy, Mia and Ashley for School,
You guys rule and are just supercool!

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Congratulations.