CEF You Be The Chemist Logo

What is the You Be The Chemist®?

The Chemical Educational Foundation’s You Be The Chemist® (YBTC) programs are designed to enhance K-8 science education by introducing the central role of chemistry in all the sciences and in our everyday lives. To accomplish its mission, the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) relies on the collaboration of industry, educators, and all members of a community to enhance science education among every generation, beginning with our youth.

The YBTC Challenge is a fun and interactive academic competition that engages grade 5–8 students in learning about important chemistry concepts and their real-world applications. The Challenge competitions take place across the country, encouraging the collaboration of schools, industry members, and community organizations with a cycle culminates in the National Challenge event in Washington, D.C.!

YBTC 2016 Brenntag Team at National Challenge in Philadelphia, PA


In 2006, Brenntag North America saw the need to promote education in chemistry and the sciences and started the YBTC Challenge in Pennsylvania. Beginning with one school district of only 6 participants, that very year the Pennsylvania Local Challenge winner won the National Challenge!

Nationally the Challenge has reached 40 States plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC, resulting in 42 participants who will compete at the National competition in June. Since 2006, we've continued to support CEF both through involvement and financially for over a decade. Brenntag is sponsoring one or more Challenges in these 9 states:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

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with our involvement in You Be The Chemist® Challenges!


We truly take pride in our involvement with Chemical Educational Foundation with the YBTC Challenge. It's a vital to generate excitement about chemistry and the sciences to sculpt the future generation of leader in our industry. If you're an educator looking to get your school involved, visit CEF's website today!

Volunteer Spotlight: Kim Keith Headshot

CEF Volunteer Spotlight: Kim Keith

“In 2006, Brenntag North America wanted to start the YBTC Challenge in PA. We began with one school district and only 6 participants. The very first year our Pennsylvania Challenge winner won the National Challenge! We’ve continued supporting the Challenge and have seen major growth in participation.

Pennsylvania now has 7 local challenges (Brenntag North America sponsors 4 of them) and over 500 students participating. I am so impressed with the Chemistry knowledge of these young individuals. The greatest reward of organizing the event is seeing the same students participate over and over and eventually going to the state or national level.”

-Kim Keith, Brenntag

Chemistry Career: Jesse Walker Headshot

CEF Chemistry Career: Jesse Walker

The Chemical Educational Foundation presented a career series celebrating during National Chemistry Week, so students could learn about the many roles in the chemical field.

CEF featured Jesse Walker, Product Development Chemist at Brenntag, on why he decided to pursue chemistry (it’s a sweet story!) and the cool project he is currently working on.

Read Jesse's full interview

YBTC 2018: Brenntag Solutions Group at Berks Local Challenge

Brenntag Volunteers on CEF Board & Committees

  • Board Trustees: Tom Corcoran & Robert Moser
  • Funding & Investment Committee: Robert Moser
  • You Be The Chemist Challenge® Organizer Committee: Kim Keith & Bryan Page