The Reindeer Chemists win the Inaugural UK You Be The Chemist Challenge®
June 24, 2023
SEVENOAKS, KENT – Following a strong performance both in terms of questions answered and their video submission, The Reindeer Chemists (Edie H., Noah H., and Muyang A.) came out on top with the highest marks, securing first place in the first UK You Be The Chemist Challenge.
For their video submission, the team detailed their business idea, which involved an AI-powered Reindeer Robot capable of working around the clock to rid the world of toxic plastic toys using thermal degradation and pyrolysis.
The competition was heated, with second and third places awarded to The Quads (Yuhan Z., Sri S., Ishanvi K., and Ramini C.) and Blossom (Michael Z., Emily W., Brittany O., and Johanna Y.).
A big congratulations to all teams involved in the competition. The standard of chemistry knowledge demonstrated by every participant exceeded expectations, and we hope to see you all again in our next competition.
Young Hoosiers From Indiana Win 2023 National You Be The Chemist Challenge®
June 13, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA –CEF is pleased to announce that the Young Hoosiers Club from Indiana earned the $12,000 scholarship as the winner of the 2023 National You Be The Chemist Challenge, coming first out of 6,000 students from 240 schools.
When asked about the benefit of The Challenge, one of the winning students said, “It helped me realize that the real competition in life is with oneself, not with others. And that is the true purpose of the challenge: to learn valuable lessons from others and ourselves that we will carry with us.”
The National Challenge brought together fifth- through eighth-graders from various regions to showcase their STEM knowledge as well as their 21st Century Learning Skills such as critical thinking, digital literacy, creative problem-solving, effective communication, and collaboration. Participants competed regionally and created a 5-7-minute video where they developed a sustainable start-up company. The top five teams competed at the National Challenge in Houston, TX, where they engaged in interviews with a distinguished panel of representatives from STEM industries.
Community Champion Award named after Dr. Larry Sernyk
June 13, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA –CEF announced today that the Community Champion Award, sponsored by Dow, is renamed the Larry Sernyk Community Champion Award for his continued leadership and dedication to CEF and for inspiring a passion for science and STEM among students and communities.
The honor was presented to Dr. Sernyk at the 2023 National You Be The Chemist Challenge® Awards Dinner by Bryan Page, Director Commercial Support Services – Key Accounts for Brenntag North America Key Accounts Team, a long-time fellow volunteer and friend. When presenting the award, Mr. Page said, “There is one volunteer, in particular, I have worked with who stands out amongst all of us, in what he has done and what he continues to contribute to our program, and to the community he serves.”
Bryan Page, Brenntag North America, Receives Inaugural Larry Sernyk Community Champion Award
June 13, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA –CEF announces that Bryan Page, Director Commercial Support Services – Key Accounts for Brenntag North America Key Accounts Team, is the first winner of the Larry Sernyk Community Champion Award for his longstanding commitment to volunteerism and Brenntag employee engagement.
The award was presented to Mr. Page by its namesake, Dr. Larry Sernyk, a long-time fellow volunteer and friend.
Mr. Page has been supporting students and teachers in Pennsylvania for over a decade, first working with and then leading his Brenntag colleagues on the expansion of CEF’s work in Pennsylvania from Berks County into the Lehigh Valley and then Lancaster County. He says that “Brenntag is providing this support to invest in students who will someday be working for Brenntag.”
Student Finalists to compete in Houston, TX for scholarships in STEM-focused Challenge
April 25, 2023
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF) announced that five teams of students from Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington will compete for scholarships at the National You Be The Chemist Challenge® on June 13 at The Westin Houston, Memorial City in Houston, Texas.
CEF is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to pursue STEM learning and related careers. National Finalists compete for scholarships that can be used for skilled trades, career certificates, college, and beyond, with this year’s keynote speaker illustrating the diversity of potential jobs in science-related fields.
Christina King, the team dietitian for the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League and a certified specialist in sports dietetics, will discuss how her love of science and sport influenced the career trajectory that led her to the Houston Dash.
CEF and Brenntag Work Together to Build the Future STEM Workforce
September 20, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation™ (CEF) and Brenntag announced a new project to increase awareness of CEF’s You Be the Chemist® Activity Guides with the aim of encouraging K-8 students to pursue science-related education throughout high school, skilled trades, and college.
Research shows that if more students are to enter the STEM academic and workforce pipeline, access to STEM resources must begin early for all students when enthusiasm is high.
You Be the Chemist Activity Guides, presented by Brenntag, are hands-on, parent and educator-friendly STEM lessons that use common, inexpensive household items so all students can explore foundational science concepts in the classroom and at home.
Massachusetts Team Wins 2022 National You Be The Chemist Challenge®
June 6, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF) announces a team of four students from Massachusetts, the Chemistry Enthusiasts, who rose to the top of 9,000 students to win the 2022 National You Be The Chemist Challenge and a $12,000 scholarship. When asked what advice they have for future participants, student Srinidhi Iyer said, “It is most important to just have fun, be confident, manage time well and efficiently, and never see the Challenge as a test but rather a major opportunity to grow as a young chemist in the making.”
Chemistry Enthusiasts is one of the teams of fifth- through eighth-graders who participated in the Challenge this year, including in Regional events where they answered 40 questions and produced a 3–5-minute video on states of matter in space.
Student teams compete for scholarships in STEM-focused Challenge in Houston, TX
May 4, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation™ (CEF) announced that five teams of students from Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington will compete for scholarships at the National You Be The Chemist Challenge® on June 6 at The Westin Houston, Memorial City in Houston, Texas.
CEF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to pursue chemistry and STEM-related learning and careers, is proud to bring the competition to Houston, the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. This year’s theme is states of matter in space, and the Awards Dinner keynote speaker is Ryan Prouty, the Managing Director of the International Space Station Research Coordination Office. Attendees will also be treated to a space-themed performance by the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre.
Odle Middle School Wins 2021 National You Be The Chemist Challenge®
June 14, 2021
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) announced a team of four students from Odle Middle School in Bellevue, WA won the 2021 National You Be The Chemist Challenge, earning the top spot amongst 266 schools.
Teams explored chemistry concepts and sustainability in their communities as part of the Challenge this year, which took place virtually due to Covid-19. Participants took part in a virtual competition earlier this year where they answered timed questions relating to chemistry concepts, as well as submitted a video expanding on those concepts, with the goal of advancing to the national level. Ten thousand students from 42 states, including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, as well as Canada, participated in the Challenge. The Challenge also took place in China for the second year in a row.
The five finalist teams from across North America participated in an interview with a panel of representatives from the chemical industry this weekend. During the interview teams were asked questions regarding scientific phenomena, the role of sustainability in each team’s community, and the potential for further research on identified topics. Read the full press release here.
China You Be The Chemist Challenge Winners Announced
May 20, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF) today announced the winning teams of the China You Be The Chemist Challenge®.
The Challenge is a team-based competition where students explore science concepts related to real-world issues. This is the first year the Challenge program was offered in China.
The winning team at the 7th-8th grade level was a combined team from Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School and Kang Chiao International School East China Campus. The winning team at the 5th-6th grade level was Lanzhou Country Garden School.
Dow and Univar Solutions sponsored the 2019-2020 China You Be The Chemist Challenge®. Read the full press release here.
You Be The Chemist Challenge State and Regional Winners Announced
May 7, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA – CEF today announced the state and regional winning teams of the You Be The Chemist Challenge®.
Teams of fifth- through eighth-grade students from 451 schools participated in the Challenge this year, with 70 Regional Challenge events taking place across the country in 40 states, including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
This was the inaugural year of a new team-based Challenge format, which allowed students to collaborate to explore science concepts, mirroring the nature of today’s workplaces. Qualifying teams participated at Regional Challenge events where they answered timed questions across four rounds of competition. Read the full press release here.
CEF Community Partnership Engages More Than 200 Students in Hands-on Science
September 27, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – More than 200 students in Houston, TX will experience hands-on science activities this school year thanks to a CEF community partnership with Univar Solutions.
Third- through fifth-grade educators from Shadowbriar Elementary will receive all the necessary materials, resources, and training to implement hands-on science activities in their classrooms as part of a workshop series included in the partnership. Read the full release here.
CEF Partners with AFPM and ACI to Bring Hands-On Science to DC Students and Educators
September 9, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – CEF today announced a new partnership with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) that will bring a professional development (PD) workshop series, materials, and mentorship to teachers in Washington, DC.
The workshop series will focus on implementing hands-on science lessons in the classroom using the 5E Instructional Model and CEF’s You Be The Chemist™ Activity Guides. Workshops will be led by CEF-Certified Instructors and will take place throughout the school year, aligning with the District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) PD schedule. Read the full press release here.
2019 National You Be The Chemist Challenge Winner Announced
June 20, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) on Monday hosted its 15th annual National You Be The Chemist Challenge® in Washington, DC.
CEF, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to pursue chemistry and STEM-related learning and careers, welcomed 42 students to compete onstage at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in a quiz-bowl style chemistry competition hosted by Dr. Calvin Emanuel of Shell Chemical LP. Each of the participants won at the state level before advancing to the national level.
Anurag Sodhi, a seventh-grader from Ellicott City, MD, answered 66 questions over the course of nine intense rounds. He entered a single-elimination tiebreaker round when he and Yuvan Chali, an eighth-grader from Franterac, MO, remained tied at the end of the championship round. Both participants answered seven tiebreaker questions correctly before Anurag secured his spot as the National You Be The Chemist champion on the eighth question. Read the full press release here.
Chemical Educational Foundation Hosts 15th Annual You Be The Chemist Challenge
June 14, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) will host its 15th annual National You Be The Chemist™ Challenge in Washington, DC on Monday, June 17.
CEF will welcome 42 students to compete onstage at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in a quiz-bowl style chemistry competition. The top 4 winners will receive scholarship checks to be used for higher education later in their academic careers. Read the full press release here.
And the Winner is … Shreyas Arcot of Virginia Wins 2018 National You Be The Chemist Challenge
June 18, 2018
ARLINGTON, VA – Seventh-grader Shreyas Arcot from Glen Allen, Va., today won the title of National You Be The Chemist ChallengeChampion by correctly answering science and chemistry-related questions throughout an exhilarating day-long 11 rounds of academic bee-style competition. It was his third time competing at the National Challenge. This year the top four placing students won academic scholarships totaling $22,500 and other science-related prizes.Read full Media Release here.
Chemical Educational Foundation Names Dow Retiree Larry Sernyk First-EverYou Be The Chemist Community Champion of the Year
Dr. Larry Sernyk Recognized as Community Champion for Devotion to Chemistry Education
June 18, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) today announced its first-ever Community Champion of the Year, former Dow AgroSciences Canola Breeder and Project Manager, Dr. Larry Sernyk. Dr. Sernyk is one of 14 Community Champions recognized this year for their contributions to volunteerism and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in communities across the nation. Since connecting with You Be The Chemistin 2010, Sernyk has led almost 40 hands-on workshops as an instructor certified through CEF, in addition to organizing and expanding the You Be The Chemist Challenge in Indiana. Read full Media Release here.
You Be The Chemist Challenge Announces 42 Student Finalists Competing for National Champion Title
Middle School STEM Student Finalists Named in National Chemistry Competition
May 30, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) has announced the 42 middle school students who will be competing on June 18 in the 2018 National You Be The Chemist Challenge in Washington, D.C. For its 14th year, CEF, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring students to pursue chemistry and STEM-related learning and careers, facilitated local and state You Be the Chemist Challenges for approximately 46,000 students ranging from grades 5-8. Local, state, and national You Be The Chemist Challenges are designed to engage middle school students in chemistry in an effort to demonstrate the importance of science in their everyday lives. In a bee-style competition, students in grades 5-8 are challenged to answer questions relating to chemistry and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Read the Media Alert here.