The Third Chemistry Race returned in-person this February when we had the pleasure to welcome over 50 teams of bright sixth-form students to Cambridge. For two hours, the lecture theatres were buzzing with sharp pupils, discussing challenging problems and rushing to the marking posts to submit their solutions.

The students have done incredibly well this year and have shown an amazing amount of teamwork when tackling our most difficult questions. Many teams also joined the online Warm Up round to see Chemistry Race problems and get prepared for the main event. The lower-sixth teams who used their creativity and wits to solve many problems way above their school curriculum surely deserve our congratulations, just like the top teams that achieved unbelievable scores:

This year’s winning team, NMSC Wizards of The National Mathematics and Science College, triumphed with an impressive 174 points. Exothermic Eltham from Eltham College came in second on 120 points, with Radleium from Radley College at a close third place on 118 points.

The Chemistry Race has grown significantly since the first year, and not only in the number of participating schools. The Organising Team has also expanded and was joined by many enthusiastic Cambridge students who wrote questions, checked the answers at the Race, or helped in countless other ways. The competition could have never taken place without such an active, excited, and friendly community.

Jan Hrubeš, one of the founders of the Czech competition Chemiklání, from which the Chemistry Race originated, even visited Cambridge to welcome the students to the Race. Jan also held an engaging seminar for the accompanying teachers about Extracurricular activities in Natural Sciences for high school students.

We hope that the vibrant event gave the students and the whole Department of Chemistry the encouragement to spring back to life after almost two years of pandemic-induced hibernation. There are big plans for Chemistry Race 2023 and we are looking forward to seeing many talented students again for the next challenge.

We would finally like to thank the organising teams of the Chemistry Race and Chemiklání competitions for all their hard work which made the Race possible. The competition also couldn’t take place without the overwhelming support of the Yusuf Hamied Chemistry Department and its staff.

Detailed results and questions with answers can be found at