Investigating why buns burst and cakes collapse

Investigating why buns burst and cakes collapse

2 May 2023

Royal High School Bath’s Year 12 chemists have been taking part in an analytical challenge based on a real life problem for the food manufacturing industry – what causes buns to burst and cakes to collapse?

As part of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual Schools Analyst Competition, nine teams of three Year 12 Royal High School Bath students have been competing against each other to solve this crucial question. Involving at least five hours of practical work, the competition is always based on relevant societal or industrial problems and aims to provide some tasks which are relatively familiar to the students alongside others which are likely to be unfamiliar.

This year’s challenge is particularly relevant for the food manufacturing industry and is focused on finding out what is causing buns to burst and cakes to collapse. This flexible challenge gave our students the chance to apply their chemistry knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical science in a fun and rewarding way.

Commenting on the competition, Year 12 Royal High School Bath chemistry student, Iris, said: “I found the Chemistry Analysis competition an interesting and exciting experience, as we were able to use our chemistry skills as a team and without the help of teachers, to test and identify multiple substances. It was enjoyable and gave me an idea of how chemistry can be used in the real world, as there was enough time to really perfect the practical skills.”

The winning team from Royal High will receive a certificate to recognise their achievement, but will also be entered into a second round against the other winning teams in our region for the chance to be crowned champions! Regional winners will also receive a prize for them and their school. Results will be known in June.

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