The You Be The Chemist Challenge® is an interactive academic contest that encourages students in grades 5-8 students to explore chemistry concepts and their real-world applications. The Challenge provides a unique opportunity for a variety of individuals and organizations—including schools, members of the chemical industry, educators, and other community partners—to come together and show their support for STEM education.

How does it work?

The Challenge is an individual competition that starts at the school level and continues with Local, State, and National Challenge competitions. CEF relies on volunteers–our Challenge Organizers–to coordinate school participation and plan the Local & State Challenge competitions.

challenge flow chart

The Challenge begins with students completing the Challenge Qualifier, a multiple choice test provided by CEF and administered by educators and/or Organizers. Based on student participation in a Local Challenge site and/or state, a select number of students will advance to the next level of competition. (See above chart.)

Local and State Challenge competitions operate in a quiz bowl format with several rounds of multiple choice questions. Questions are displayed to both the participants and audience on a screen, then students use electronic response devices to indicate their answers. The students who score the highest will move on to the next level of competition (as noted in the chart above). The top participant from each state then advanced to compete in the National Challenge in June!

CEF also provides free study materials to help students prepare for the Challenge. For more information about the Challenge and participation requirements, please see the 2015-2016 You Be The Chemist Challenge® Official Rules.

Want to get involved in the Challenge? Find out how!

School Registration

More information coming in September 2015!

Where are the Challenge sites in your area?

Local Challenge Listing 2014-2015

We’re still working on this section! Stay tuned for an interactive Challenge map featuring our 2015-2016 Challenge sites.

2014-2015 State Challenge events: