Up-to-date analytical methods introduced to school children in 47th International Chemistry Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan

From 20th to 29th of July 47th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. All together 290 form 75 countries solved 3 practical and 8 theoretical tasks. This Olympiad was definitely one of the hardest in IChO history, most probably being hard to solve for a masters student not only for high school students.

The tasks given to students were very versatile introducing students both to history of Azerbaijan chemistry industry but also to up-to-date methods. One of the practical tasks given to student’s concerned estimating drug content in medicine based on initial rates. The drug Diclofenac was oxidized with KMnO4 and the spectral change was followed at 525 nm (Figure below) in the thermostated conditions.

The content was calculated based on a four point calibration graph (initial rate vs concentration). For solving this task students were given (see a photo below) miniaturized photometer, thermostat, cuvette and a magnetic stirrer. The photometer and thermostat were directly controllable with a laptop. Student carried out data treatment in Excel.

I find this problem being a true success as this really introduces young students with interest in chemistry to the analytical methods used today in labs.

For more tasks see http://icho2015.msu.az/