National Chemistry Championship Celebrates Exploration

Middle school students who have won local and state-level chemistry competitions will head to Philadelphia on June 20 to compete in the National You Be The Chemist Challenge® at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Middle school students who have won local and state-level chemistry competitions will head to Philadelphia on June 20 to compete in the National You Be The Chemist Challenge® at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The winner and runners-up will receive college scholarships.

The You Be The Chemist Challenge®, created by the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF), is a quiz-bowl-style academic competition that engages students in the fifth through eighth grades in learning chemistry concepts and their real-world applications. The competition was created in 2004 to spark young students’ interest in the sciences and prepare them for future study and scientific careers. The program is also an opportunity for members of scientific industries to interact with and enrich science education opportunities in their communities.

Over 50,000 students participated in the local and state levels of the Challenge program during the 2015-2016 school year. One student from each of the 39 participating states and territories has qualified to compete at the national level, where prizes will include academic scholarships totaling $18,500, Thames & Kosmos CHEMC3000 chemistry kits and TI-84 Plus graphing calculators. Following the competition, the students’ accomplishments will be celebrated at a dinner and award ceremony at the National Constitution Center.

The theme of this year’s event is “Around the World of Chemistry,” exploring the ways that chemistry is helping to solve global challenges, and how chemistry binds us together as global citizens. At the close of the competition, all participants will receive a National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which provides free entrance to all national parks for a full year.

“Chemists around the globe are conducting research that will drive innovation and advance human potential,” stated John Rice, executive director of CEF. “When you introduce students to the life-changing impact of chemistry at a young age, they are able to connect the concepts they are studying to the world around them, and they are inspired to get involved. We designed the Challenge program to motivate students to explore their world through chemistry, and we are excited to see the many places where their passion and dedication will take them in the future.”

Doors to the competition open at 10:30 a.m. This is the final year that the national level of the competition will take place in Philadelphia – in 2017, the event will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The 2016 National Challenge participants will represent the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will also be represented at the competition.

The National Challenge and all of its surrounding events are organized by CEF and sponsored by members of scientific industries and educational organizations.

The 2016 National Challenge sponsors are:

Diamond Sponsor: The Dow Chemical Company

Platinum Sponsors: BASF Corporation, Brenntag North America, Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Company, ICL Performance Products LP, LyondellBasell, Shell Chemical Company, Turning Technologies,

Gold Sponsors: Horn, Monument Chemical, Science Buddies, Thames & Kosmos

Silver Sponsors: National Association of Chemical Distributors, PVS Chemicals, Inc., Univar

Bronze Sponsors: Apex Distribution Consulting, Chemical Distribution Network, R.E. Carroll, Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Superior Oil Company

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About the Chemical Educational Foundation

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Arlington, VA, the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF) works closely with industry to enhance science education opportunities for our youth. CEF created the You Be The Chemist Challenge® in 2004.