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Famous Yorkshire chemist inspires student’s bubbly Christmas card win

Friday 7 December 2012

A Year 8 student’s celebration of one of Yorkshire’s most famous scientists has won her a prize from the regional branch of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Lexy Shipley designed a Christmas card inspired by Leeds born chemist Joseph Priestley for the Schools Challenge of the Central Yorkshire Section of the RSC. The Christmas card competition was open to Year 7 and 8 pupils in schools across West Yorkshire.

The judges, staff from the RSC and the University of Leeds, were looking for designs with great visual impact and a strong message, based on thorough research.

One of ten winners from across West Yorkshire, Lexy won Amazon vouchers and a print run of 300 cards. She said: “I chose to feature Joseph Priestley in my design because of his involvement with two of the most essential things in my life – oxygen and erasers. He discovered oxygen in 1774, contradicting centuries of belief that air was a single element. He also invented the rubber eraser which I use at least 100 times a day! His contribution to chemistry seems therefore very relevant to my life.”

In Lexy’s winning design Joseph Priestley is seen as Santa, rubbing out the letter H from Ho Ho Ho to leave just O – the chemical symbol for oxygen – while the message inside the card cleverly celebrates another of Priestley’s discoveries – carbonated water.

Lexy explained: “As Priestley also invented soda water I would like to wish everyone an ‘effervescent Christmas’!”

GSAL’s runners up in the competition were Nandini Javangula and Ciaran Duggan, both Year 8, who received certificates along with two other entrants Harin Wijayathunga, Year 8, and Hannah Bedford, Year 7.


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