Titration and Chem & Bio Battle inspire students, finals on September 30


Participating in competitions such as the Chemistry Titration and Chemistry & Biology Knowledge Battle has and continues to inspire high school students to pursue further studies in Chemistry and Biology.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) Fiji Campuses was buzzing with excitement last Saturday (June 17, 2023) as over 418 students from around Fiji turned up at our various campuses in the North, Central and Western Divisions to compete in the preliminary round, for a chance to qualify for the finals on September 30, 2023.

Organised by the Chemical Society of the South Pacific (CSSP), the competition allowed high school students to deepen their understanding of these subjects and further develop problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities.

CSSP Secretariat Tejesvi Patel said, “Many high schools look forward to this competition as it is a way to test what they’ve learnt and apply their knowledge in a competitive setting. It can spark their interest, encourage exploration, and potentially lead to future careers or research opportunities, which the Society hopes to achieve by hosting such competitions.”

Having hosted the competition for over two decades, USP has played a pivotal role in bringing students and teachers from different schools together to network, interact, and collaborate with others who share a similar passion for Chemistry and Biology.

Patel added, “It also allows students to visit the Campus and experience the lab environment if they are taking part in titration or the challenges of working together to solve tough questions if taking part in the battles. Also, highlighting the importance of sciences in the Pacific encourages more students to study Chemistry and Biology at the region’s premier institution.”

The competition has grown significantly over the past 20 years, with schools from as far as Lomaiviti in attendance.

“It is a delightful sight to see Levuka Public School at our Laucala Campus on Saturday and that the number of schools taking part increases yearly with schools coming from all over Fiji to participate. We hope to see even more schools take part in the future.”

Suva-based School, John Wesley College, was among some big schools from the Central and Eastern Division participating in the preliminary round at the USP Laucala Campus.

Biology and Chemistry Teacher Adi Lewa Uluitoga said six students from John Wesley College were chosen to represent the school in the competition. “These students live around the Raiwaqa and Raiwai area; they were nervous and took about two months to prepare for the competition, and they are all Year 13 students.”

She added, “This type of competition is good exposure for our final-year high school students, especially before they look to continue their education at the tertiary level.”

Ms Uluitoga said she was proud of her students’ participation, adding that more competitions are needed for secondary school students pursuing STEMP subjects.

John Wesley College Year 13 student Vaseva Saratibau said the Biology Knowledge Battle was lengthy but a good challenge, and they were happy with how they performed.

“There were 50 questions altogether, and we were able to answer 27 of those questions. We were nervous because we were in a room with bigger schools, but we were confident with how we prepared and competed today,” She added.

The competition was held simultaneously in the Western Division, with 16 schools participating in the Chemistry Titration and Chemistry & Biology Knowledge Battle at Nadi Muslim College and Kamil College in Ba, respectively.

Amongst the schools that competed in the West was Kavanagasau College, located in the interior of Sigatoka, about 17 kilometres from Sigatoka town.

Kavanagasau College Head of Department in Science, Mrs Poonam Mani, said the competition gave their students a certain level of exposure and an opportunity to put their skills to good use.

“I am proud this year looking at the remarkable performances of my students. We travelled from rural Sigatoka, and I woke up at around 3 am to start preparing my students. The road conditions are poor in the area, and we had to leave early,” she said.


Mrs Mani added, “Seeing my students’ performance motivates me to provide the best to them in school.”

Xavier College Year 13 science student Shainal Prasad was proud to have been part of the team that attained the most points from the competition at the Kamil Muslim College.

“It’s not the first time for us to participate in this competition, as we have had similar internal battles within the school, but I would say that the battle was intense with other schools,” he stated.

Regardless of winning, participating in the competition itself is expected to contribute to students’ learning and skill development, with students adding that such exposure gave them a brief glimpse of the University experience.

The competition is also aimed at fostering future collaborations, friendships, and the exchange of ideas.

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