The Challenge is an academic competition for students in grades 5-8, where the excitement and value of chemistry takes center stage! By middle school, most U.S. students have not studied chemistry as its own subject. Participating in a Challenge offers a critical exposure to this content. 

Students compete individually by answering multiple choice questions in a bee-style competition.

Where are the Challenge Sites in your area?

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

How the Challenge Works

The Challenge begins with participants completing the Challenge Qualifier, a short multiple-choice test provided by CEF and administered by educators and/or Organizers at their schools. Top Qualifier scorers from each school then advance to the next level of competition a Local or Local-as-State Challenge.

At the Local and State Challenges participants answer several rounds of multiple choice questions. 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!







For more information and participation requirements and structure please read the Challenge Official Rules  and the Structure and Format Document.

CEF provides free study materials for each level of the competition and a list of additional resources to help participants prepare.

How to Get Involved

Do you want to participate? Volunteer? Sponsor students to attend? Click here for ways to get involved!

A Look at the National Challenge