Sixth-Grader Wins National Chemistry Competition

Audrey Gallier, a sixth-grader from Brookfield, Ill., won the title of 2014 National You Be The Chemist Challenge® Champion on June 23 at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

The You Be The Chemist Challenge®, created by the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF), is a quiz-bowl-style academic competition that aims to engage students in the fifth through eighth grades in learning important chemistry concepts, scientific theories, and chemical safety awareness. The competition was created in 2004 as a means to spark student interest in the sciences and prepare students for future study and scientific careers. The competition is also an opportunity for members of the chemical industry to interact with and enhance science education opportunities for schools and organizations in their communities.

Nearly 25,000 students participated in the Challenge program during the 2013-2014 school year at the local and state levels. The top 30 students, one from each state, qualified to compete in the national competition.

The 2014 National Challenge participants battled through ten thrilling rounds of chemistry questions before a national champion was crowned. Amar Moturu, an eighth-grader representing Texas, Michael Allen, an eighth-grader representing Ohio, and Varun Mosur, an eighth-grader representing Virginia, placed second, third and fourth, respectively. The top four placing students received academic scholarships totaling $15,000 and TI-84+ graphing calculators, while all participants walked away with prizes including engraved beakers, Thames & Kosmos CHEM3000 chemistry kits, gift certificates to the Discovery Channel Store, and more.

The competition brought together over 300 chemical industry representatives, family members, and educators in a celebration of chemistry and science education. “Each of these students has worked incredibly hard to make it to this level of the competition, and their enthusiasm for studying chemistry and its real-world applications is inspiring,” stated CEF Executive Director John Rice. He added, “The Challenge program is an opportunity for members of the chemical industry to give back to their local schools and communities, and it is immensely rewarding to see those efforts culminate in such an exciting event here in Philadelphia.”

Over the course of the three-day event, the 30 National Challenge participants and their chaperones were treated to activities such as a visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences, a day of science discovery at The Franklin Institute, and a celebration dinner held at the National Constitution Center. The dinner included speeches from two previous winners of the national competition, an award ceremony and a live chemistry show, and provided participants the opportunity to interact with business leaders, chemical industry members, 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.

The 2014 National Challenge participants represented the following states:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The 2014 National Challenge sponsors are:
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: Monument Chemical, Science Buddies, Thames & Kosmos, Univar
Silver Sponsors: Horn, National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)
Bronze Sponsors: Access Chemicals and Services, Coast Southwest, Inc., PQ Corporation, Turning Technologies LLC

About Brenntag:

Brenntag, the global market leader in chemical distribution, covers all major markets with its extensive product and service portfolio. Headquartered in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, the company operates a global network with more than 480 locations in more than 70 countries. In 2013, the company, which has a global workforce of more than 13,000, generated sales of EUR 9.8 billion (USD 13.0 billion). Brenntag is the link between chemical manufacturers and chemical users. The company supports its customers and suppliers with tailor-made distribution solutions for industrial and specialty chemicals. With over 10,000 products and a world-class supplier base, Brenntag offers one-stop-shop solutions to around 170,000 customers. This includes specific application technology, an extensive technical support and value-added services such as just-in-time delivery, product mixing, formulation, repackaging, inventory management and drum return handling. Long-standing experience and local excellence in the individual countries characterize the global market leader for chemical distribution.