What is the You Be The Chemist Challenge? 

The You Be The Chemist Challenge is a free, STEM-based competition for students in grades 5-8. Students participate in teams of 3-4. 

Is there a fee? 

There is no fee to participate in the Challenge. It is a free competition. 

How do I sign-up? 

Registration will open on our website in early October for each Challenge cycle. 

What is the Challenge structure? 

There are two participation tracks; in-person and virtual. See the description of the tracks here.

Students will first take the Qualifier exam at their school (in-person participants). After the Qualifier, the top teams will participate in the Regional Challenge (in-person or virtual) where they will answer timed multiple-choice and short-answer questions as a team. All students participating in the Regional Challenge will create a video response addressing the themed prompt for this year. Overall team scores will be a weighted combination of their video score and their Regional Challenge score (in-person or virtual). The weighted scores will be used to select state winners. State winners will be announced, and the top five teams will advance to the National Challenge in Houston, TX. At the National Challenge, finalist teams will pitch their videos and demonstrate an expanded knowledge of the business side of the chemical industry by answering questions about their video from a panel of judges. 

Please note: Virtual participants do not need to take the Qualifier. All students participating virtually can participate in the virtual Regional Challenge. 

Can students participate virtually? 

Yes, students can participate in the Regional Challenge virtually.  

Please note: The National Challenge will take place in person in Houston, TX on June 13, 2023. 

Do virtual participants have to take the Qualifier? 

Virtual participants do not need to take the Qualifier. They will begin with the virtual Regional Challenge. 

Where can I find the rules? 

The rules can be found on our website here. 

Where can I find the study material?  

The study material can be found on our website here. The online interactive study material will be provided to Team Coordinators once they register. 

Do students have to participate through their school?  

While we encourage schools to participate, students do not need to participate through their school. Their parents/guardians can serve as the Team Coordinator and help students throughout the Challenge cycle. 

What is the role of a Team Coordinator? 

Schools or teams need a Team Coordinator to participate. The Team Coordinator is responsible for receiving information from CEF and deciding whether students will be participating in-person or virtual, administering the Qualifier (if participating in-person), communicating with the Challenge Organizer and parents, creating student teams, helping students prepare, and providing school demographics upon registration. 

Do students need a teacher to help them participate? 

Students do not need a teacher to participate. The Team Coordinator may be a parent, teacher, tutor, etc. 

How do I form a team? 

We encourage students to form their own teams! The Challenge requires many different skill sets. If you and the students need help forming a team, you can use an online random team generator such as this one. 

When will teams receive information about the video presentations? 

 The rules, rubrics, and guidelines will be released on the website on Monday, October 3. 

How much time will teams have to create videos? 

The video prompt and rubric will be released on Monday, October 3. Video submissions are due Monday, March 6.