Washington Middle Schooler Beats Out 20,000 Students Nationally

Eshan Kemp, 6th grader from Bellevue, Washington, won the title of 2013 National You Be The Chemist Challenge® (National Challenge) Champion on June 24 at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The You Be The Chemist Challenge®, created by the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF), is a quiz bowl style academic competition that engages grade 5-8 students in learning chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries, and chemical safety awareness. Throughout the school year over 20,000 students across the country participated in Local and/or State Challenges with the top 27 students qualifying to compete in the national competition. Brenntag was proud to sponsor Challenges in one third of the states represented, which included Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

The 2013 National Challenge participants battled through nine thrilling rounds before Eshan Kemp emerged as champion. Nathanael Kim, 6th grader representing Illinois, Jasmine Xu, 7th grader representing California, and Chi Cao, 8th grader representing Louisiana, placed second, third, and fourth, respectively. The top four placing students received academic scholarships, while all participants walked away with prizes including trophies, Thames & Kosmos CHEM3000 chemistry kits, gift certificates to the Discovery Channel Store, and more.

The competition brought together over 200 chemical industry representatives, family members, and educators in a celebration of chemistry. “I am continually impressed by the bright young minds that participate in this program. Watching the participants become excited as they connect the chemistry concepts to their everyday lives is a truly rewarding experience for all who are involved,” stated John Rice, CEF Executive Director, “The Challenge is a wonderful celebration of the hard work put forth not only by the students but by all the industry members and educators who have participated in the program within their local communities and contributed to its advancement.” he added.

While in Philadelphia, the National Challenge participants and a chaperone were treated to various activities, such as a tour of the Academy of Natural Sciences, an afternoon of science discovery at The Franklin Institute, and the Challenge Celebration Dinner held at the National Constitution Center courtesy of the event’s Diamond and Platinum Sponsors. The Challenge Celebration Dinner included an award ceremony, live chemistry show, and provided participants the opportunity to interact with business leaders, chemists, and science educators.

The National Challenge and all of its surrounding events are organized by CEF and sponsored by members of the chemical industry. Interested in sponsoring/participating in the 2013-2014 Challenge? Contact CEF at .

2013 National Challenge sponsors:

• Diamond Sponsor: The Dow Chemical Company

Platinum Sponsors: BASF Corporation, Brenntag North America, Inc., ICL Performance Products LP, LyondellBasell, PVS-Nolwood Chemicals, Inc., Shell Chemical Company

• Gold Sponsors: Informex, Monument Chemical, Thames & Kosmos, Univar

Silver Sponsors: Horn, MeadWestvaco Corporation, National Association of Chemical Distributors

Bronze Sponsors: Coast Southwest, Inc., Parchem, PQ Corporation, Turning Technologies LLC

About the CEF:
Founded in 1989, CEF works closely with industry to enhance science education opportunities for our youth. For more information, visit

Laurel Brent