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Hillsdale stu­dents com­peted in a series of chem­istry-related games in an annual com­pe­tition called the Battle of the Chem Clubs. Andrea Lee | Courtesy

In the end, it was the titration lab that was their downfall in the Battle of the Chem Clubs.

Senior Andrea Lee, a bio­chem­istry major, was the only member of the five-person team that had taken ana­lytical chem­istry, and that was over a year ago.

“In a titration lab, you’re trying to find the con­cen­tration of a basic solution,” Lee said. “We were pretty close. I was pretty proud of us.”

Although the Hillsdale College chapter of the American Chemical Society didn’t quite make it to the playoffs at the annual Battle of the Chem Clubs, they did tie for seventh place overall.

Twelve schools attended this year’s battle, which included events like a puzzle of the periodic table and chem­istry-themed cha­rades. Hillsdale was in third place going into the final event before lunch, but having to re-learn titration on the spot pushed their time to the limit.

Their accuracy, though, was impec­cable.

“To be honest, I had low expec­ta­tions for us,” Lee, the pres­ident of the chapter, said. “We had a small team, and we didn’t have a lot of upper­classmen with us.”

The chapter brought one freshman, two sopho­mores, one junior, and one senior to the battle.

“We’ve been doing this for a while,” junior bio­chem­istry major Christine Aush­erman said. “It’s a really nerdy title, but it’s great.”

Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Chem­istry and chapter adviser Christopher Hamilton said one of the main ben­efits of the event is being able to make good con­nec­tions.

“It helps stu­dents interact with peers at other insti­tu­tions,” Hamilton said.

Lee agreed.

“It’s a way for all the ACS chapters to come together for some friendly com­pe­tition,” she said.

Hillsdale has only missed two battles since the event started 11 years ago. The chapter nor­mally take between 10 and 15 stu­dents, but could only bring five this year, due to outside con­flicts.

“We did really well, con­sid­ering we had only five people,” Aush­erman said.

Hamilton said he hopes to take a larger group again next year.

“We def­i­nitely foresee doing this again in the future,” Hamilton said. “Hope­fully we get a large group together and take home the trophy.”