The You Be The Chemist Challenge® is an interactive academic contest that encourages students in grades 5-8 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 Challenge Official Rules.

Want to get involved in the Challenge? Please complete an Inquiry Form to find out how!

Where does the Challenge operate?

Use the interactive map below to find out where the Challenge operates in your state. Please note that Local Challenge sites will be registered periodically from now through February 2016. If you do not see a site in your area, please use the 2014-2015 Local Challenge Listing to find out where the Challenge operated last year and will likely operate again this year. If you still, do not see a site close by, email to learn how to get your community involved.

Where are the Challenge Sites in your area?

Click on the map or select a state/territory from the dropdown above.