The Challenge relies on dedicated volunteers — Challenge Organizers — to organize competition events in communities nationwide. With CEF’s support, Organizers work with schools and educators to plan and implement the Challenge at the school and regional level. Being an Organizer comes with many rewards — most notably, seeing students in your community connect chemistry to their everyday learning and lives!

Become an Organizer

If you are interested in becoming a Challenge Organizer, please email challenge@chemed.org. See a list of current Regional Challenge sites on our interactive Challenge map.

For Current Organizers

Current Organizers can use CEF’s Organizer website to access important updates and resources, register their Regional Challenge site(s), view/edit school registrations, and access Challenge questions.

If you are a current Organizer and are having trouble creating or accessing your Organizer Account, please email challenge@chemed.org.

General Organizer Responsibilities

Organizers are responsible for coordinating logistics of Challenge Qualifier administration at the school level and planning and executing a Regional Challenge. The Challenge follows a typical school year calendar. Organizers identify and communicate with schools in the fall and serve as the primary contact for School Coordinators and participants leading up to the Regional Challenge, which takes place anytime from January 3 – March 9, 2020.

Timeline

September 

Local Challenge Organizers use their Organizer Accounts to register their Regional Challenge sites online.

October 7 – December 6, 2019

Organizers identify interested schools and ensure that they register online with the appropriate Challenge site. Organizers secure sponsorships and plan for their Regional Challenge in the spring. CEF provides a short, multiple-choice Challenge Qualifier test which educators administer in their classrooms to determine which students advance to the Regional Challenge. Challenge Organizers send registered School Coordinators access instructions for the Challenge Qualifier. Challenge Organizers finalize event details such as the competition venue, date, and time.

October 7 – December 13, 2019

Organizers work with School Coordinators to provide all necessary materials to administer the Challenge Qualifier. Educators must administer the Qualifier in their classroom by December 13, 2019.

January 3 – March 9, 2020

Challenge Organizers hold Regional Challenges and submit team scores and the winning team name through Submittable.

March 9 – April 20, 2020

Advancing teams work with a Challenge Advisor to create a video exploring the role of chemistry in their community. Challenge Advisors submit their team’s video for evaluation through Submittable.

April 20-30, 2020

Video submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges.

June 2020

The top 10 teams attend the National Showcase in Houston, TX, where they are evaluated onsite by a panel of judges on their video creation process, explored topics, and overall knowledge of scientific concepts addressed in the video.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many schools participate in each Regional Challenge? How many students participate in each Regional Challenge? 

The total number of registered schools varies by Challenge site, as does the total number of participants. However, at least 16 students must participate in each Regional Challenge. No more than 60 students are permitted to participate in any Regional Challenge.

May parents of Challenge participants serve as Challenge Organizers?

The Challenge Rules prohibit parents/guardians of current participants from serving as Organizers in the interest of fairness. Parents may help with event planning, contacting schools, and serving as day-of volunteers at competitions, but may not administer the Challenge Qualifier or coordinate a Regional Challenge.

How much does it cost to hold a Regional Challenge?

The cost of a Regional Challenge is dependent on multiple factors, including the venue and prizes. Some sites rely solely on in-kind donations. Most sites spend a few hundred dollars on awards and small prizes for the top participants, while others spend more for refreshments, bigger participant prizes (iPads, gift cards, etc.), and gifts for volunteers and School Coordinators. The cost is largely up to the Organizer. CEF works with Organizers to cover costs through the support of corporate sponsors.