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.

Read on for more information about the Challenge program and to find out where it operates in your state.

Where are the Challenge Sites in your area?

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

How does the Challenge work?

The Challenge is an academic 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 and State Challenge competitions.

challenge flow chart

The Challenge begins with students completing the Challenge Qualifier, a short 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.

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. Students participate individually in the Challenge competitions. The students who score the highest will move on to the next level of competition (as noted in the chart above) with the top participant from each state advancing to 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!