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Tin compounds are used in toothpaste.
"The greatest result of student participation in the YBTC program has been confidence in the science classroom."

-Joe Jakcsy
Illinois Educator

Welcome to the YBTC Challenge!  You Be The Chemist Challenge

The Challenge is an exciting academic competition that will expand your knowledge of the science of chemistry. The information in CEF's Challenge study materials exposes you to the fascinating world of chemistry as it applies to your everyday life. It shows you how chemicals shape your world.

Read and review the information in the Passport to Science Exploration (Passport), including all relevant examples, to further your understanding of chemistry. Challenge competition questions are based on an overall understanding of chemistry and general science concepts and the relationships among concepts. Challenge questions are largely derived from information contained in CEF’s study materials but are not restricted to this information. We encourage you to seek additional examples and explanations of chemistry concepts from outside resources. Doing so will help you answer questions that require you to connect concepts and apply your knowledge of chemistry to both familiar and unfamiliar situations.

The information in the Passport is supplied to help you succeed at every level of the Challenge. The Passport is divided into three portions that correspond to the different levels of the Challengelocal, state, and national.

The study materials for the 20132014 State Challenges are now available!

  • Study Materials for the National Challenge (will be released in May 2014)
    (National Challenge participants: Please be advised that you will receive a hard copy of this portion of the CEF study materials in your participant information packet.)
    • Passport to Science Exploration: Chemistry Concepts in Action
    • You should also continue to review The Core of Chemistry, Chemistry Connections, and both Periodic Table handouts.

Please note: Challenge competition questions (including the Qualifying Exam) are for competition purposes ONLY. Students should NOT receive or use questions (from the current year or any previous years) at any point to study. Use of Challenge competition questions for study purposes is grounds for disqualification. In addition, the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) does not endorse or approve the use of any questions for the purposes of preparing for any level of the Challenge.

To prepare for a Challenge competition, students should begin by reviewing CEF’s Challenge study materials including the Passport to Science Exploration and the Periodic Table and the Periodic Table of Atomic Weights handouts. CEF also recommends that students seek additional examples, explanations, and activities to gain a better understanding of various chemistry concepts and be able to apply their knowledge of chemistry to both familiar and unfamiliar situations.


If you would like your school to host a You Be The Chemist Challenge, encourage your parents or teachers to browse the Challenge pages of our website for details about how to get YOU involved in the competition!