Practical part of the IChO
Experiment is an inseparable part of chemical teaching in schools. It is not surprising, therefore, that the experimental part of the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) competition plays a very important role. From the very beginning the experimental problems have been involved in the set of competition tasks at the International Chemistry Olympiads (IChOs).
During the last fifty years the level of chemistry teaching at secondary schools has rapidly increased and new experiments have been (or should have been) introduced into laboratory works of students. Naturally, it has been reflected in the experimental problems of the IChO competitions.
The experimental activities within the IChO competition are collected in a list of experimental requirements that are expected in the competition and can serve to competitors in a preparation for it. In analyzing the experimental tasks set till now in the IChOs it is possible to conclude that there are laboratory activities which can be assigned as “common” and which are required from all competitors compulsorily. The other group forms the activities which are often required in the experimental part of the competition and can be marked as “often used” activities. These activities need not be included in the chemistry program at all secondary schools. The last group of laboratory activities belongs to those which can be marked as “exceptionally used” and these are not contained in the chemistry programs at the secondary schools at all.
The experimental problems form an important part of the IChO. They represent 40 % of all points which a competing student can gain in the competition. Therefore, good results in the medal range can be achieved by those pupils only who are well prepared for the work in a chemical laboratory. A sound self-confidence at the competition can be an attribute of those only who are good both in the theoretical part and in the laboratory work. The experimental part precedes the theoretical part of the competition and thus, good results in the experimental part can be sometimes deciding. A good start in the competition may influence the results in the theoretical part very positively.
Some details about the experimental part of the IChO competition are given in an appendix:
Compiled and edited by A. Sirota (IChO Intern. Information Centre)