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.

“We are so impressed with the way our students and teachers adapted to a virtual learning environment this year. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a STEM-literate citizenry – and the Challenge inspires young students to engage with science and chemistry, as well as their communities, early in life,” said CEF Executive Director Dwayne Sattler. “We hope all Challenge participants learn from their experience here and apply it to their future endeavors.”

Burleigh Manor Middle School from Maryland won second place in the competition. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley from California won third. Please click here to see a list of state winners, as well as the submitted videos from each state winning team.

BASF Corporation was the presenting sponsor of the event. Dow, Brenntag North America, Inc., and Univar Solutions served as national sponsors. Other sponsors included P&G, Barentz, Corteva Agriscience, Azelis Americas, ICL Group, Superior Industrial Solutions, Inc., Shell, Albaugh LLC, BluePallet, and Epic.

Click here to read the full press release.