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The champions of 2018's Periodic Table Competition.
Photo by Aleisha Smith

Periodic Table Competition pushes memory's boundaries

student reporter Aleisha Smith —

On Friday the 22nd of June approximately 50 students and teachers came into the school hall and participated in Nayland College's annual Periodic Table Competition.

The competition required students to write down at least 20 exact symbols or names from the periodic table which is a table of chemical elements.

Nayland head of science Mr. Hamish McLellan runs the competition and said he likes to use skills to remember things. "Using your memory as a tool is important, even if it just means remembering things you need to buy without a shopping list," he said.

Mr. McLellan says that any brain exercise is good and like physical exercise, it is good to challenge yourself and try different things. He says another reason to compete is to learn how your memory works, as finding personal tricks to remember things is very useful life skill.

For every valid entry, one house point was earned for that student's house. Extra points were given for reaching 50 or 100 symbols. Phoenix house had the most entries out of all of the houses while Pegasus was first overall.

Participating students said they did so to show house spirit by earning points for their house. In this year's case, Ella Riccardi won the junior division (Years 9 and 10) with 118 symbols. Kane Diedrichs and Ben Kirby won the senior division (Years 11, 12 and 13), with Kane recording 118 symbols, 106 names and 70 masses and Ben recording 118 symbols, 118 names and 31 masses (to one decimal place). Josh Carter placed third with 118 symbols.