CEF provides study materials to help students succeed at every level of the Challenge and highlight the fascinating world of chemistry and its real-world applications. The Passport to Science Exploration is divided into three sections that correspond to each level of the Challenge:

  • The Core of Chemistry – Challenge Qualifier and Local Challenges
  • Chemistry Connections – State Challenges
  • Chemistry Concepts in Action – National Challenge

To prepare for a Challenge competition, students should carefully read and review the information in the Challenge study materials. Competition questions are based on an overall understanding of chemistry and science concepts presented in these study materials, as well as the relationships among concepts.

While competition questions are largely derived from information contained in CEF’s study materials, they are not limited solely to this information. CEF also provides a Suggested Additional Resources page to help participants and teachers seek other examples and explanations of chemistry concepts. Looking at outside resources will help students to connect concepts, apply their knowledge of chemistry to familiar and unfamiliar situations, and learn more about the world around them!


Official CEF periodic tables:


Study Materials for the Challenge Qualifier and Local Challenges

The 2018-2019 version of The Core of Chemistry features minor updates to align better with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Anyone with last year’s version should re-print pages 3 and 9 to benefit from the updates.


Study Materials for State Challenges

Coming in early spring 2019!


Study Materials for the National Challenge

Coming in late spring 2019!



Next Generation Science Standards

The You Be The Chemist Challenge® Passport to Science Exploration study materials Next Generation Science Standardsintroduce students in grades 5-8 to the fascinating world of chemistry and science. These study materials may be used to supplement classroom learning towards meeting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn how each posted section of the study materials aligns to NGSS performance expectations:



Please note: CEF does not endorse or approve the use of any questions – other than those posted on this webpage – for the purposes of preparing for any level of the Challenge. Challenge competition questions (including the Challenge Qualifier) are for competition purposes ONLY and should not be shared at any other time. Any access to 2018-2019 Challenge questions outside of an official competition is grounds for participant disqualification.