As the entry point for all participants is through school registration, educators and schools play an essential role in the You Be The Chemist Challenge! Below are resources to get your school started and support you throughout the cycle including:

  1.  A Challenge overview;
  2.  Directions for getting your school involved;
  3.  An overview of the School Coordinator’s role; and
  4.  School Coordinator Checklist.

1. Challenge Overview

The Challenge is a free academic competition that invites grade 5-8 students to engage with chemistry concepts and their real-world applications, including:

  • properties of matter;
  • the periodic table;
  • chemical formulas & equations;
  • and much more!

Students compete individually in the Challenge by answering multiple-choice questions during each level of the competition. Consult this chart to understand your state’s pathway to the National Challenge.

2. How to get your school involved

  • Locate the closest Local Challenge in your state
  • Identify at least 5 participating students
    • Per the Official Rules, all participating schools must administer the Challenge Qualifier to a minimum of five students.
  • Select a School Coordinator
    • See section 3 below
  • School Coordinator Only: Register your school for your Local Challenge between October 23, 2018 and January 22, 2019
    • Within 2 weeks of registering, School Coordinators will be contacted by the Challenge Organizer (the dedicated volunteer who plans the
    • competition) with more information.

For more detailed school participation requirements, read the Official Rules and Official Competition Structure: Public Edition.

3. School Coordinator’s Role

School Coordinators are authorized representatives of the school who ensure that participants are preparing for and participating in the Challenge according to the competition requirements.

*DISCLAIMER*  Because they will have access to the Challenge Qualifier, School Coordinators may not be parents/guardians of any participant.

School Coordinators should:

  •  Direct students to CEF’s free online study materials
    •  Facilitated student preparation is encouraged, as time and resources allow, but not required. Students can successfully prepare on their own.
  •  Communicate with the Challenge Organizer
    •  The Challenge Organizer will relay event details, provide access to the Challenge Qualifier, allocate Challenge slots based on confirmed participation numbers, etc.
  • Administer the short multiple-choice Challenge Qualifier at the school level
    • The Qualifier will be available at the end of November. Final participation numbers must be reported to your Challenge Organizer. The deadline to report these numbers is selected and agreed upon by the Challenge Organizer and the Chemical Educational Foundation.

4. School Coordinator Checklist

Once you have registered your school for the Challenge, please be sure to:


Thank you for participating in the Challenge. Please check out our other You Be The Chemist programs, too!


Want more information? Complete the Educator Inquiry Form and review the Official Rules. Contact us with immediate questions at