National chemistry champion and Watchung resident Jessica Xu has qualified to compete for one of four spots on the U.S. team bound for the 44th annual International Chemistry Olympiad. A junior at , she is one of only 20 students nation-wide invited to a two-week intensive study camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.
The competition to be part of the international event is fierce; beginning with a three-part exam taken by at least 12,000 high school students in the U.S. Jessica’s performance on this exam resulted in the opportunity to take the National Chemistry Olympiad test. Out of more than 1,000 of the nation’s brightest chemistry students who took the national test, she advanced to the top 20 and next she will head to the study camp being held June 5-20.
During the camp, Jessica will receive college-level training, with an emphasis on organic chemistry, through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab work, and testing. At the camp’s conclusion, four students will be chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad where they will compete with their peers from more than 70 nations for gold, silver and bronze medals.
This year, for the first time since 1992, the U.S. will host the International Chemistry Olympiad, to be held July 21-30, at the University of Maryland, College Park. ACS is the official organizer and The Dow Chemical Company is the official sponsor of the overall international event.
“The students who compete in the IChO are the brightest minds in chemistry,” said ACS president Bassam Shakhashiri. “These young people are the ones who will make the discoveries that shape our future by curing disease, addressing climate change, feeding our rapidly expanding population and much more.”
“At Dow, with more than 100 years of investment in STEM education programs, we know that innovation begins not only in the classroom but also in personal imagination,” said Bo Miller, Global Director for Corporate Citizenship for The Dow Chemical Company and President and Executive Director of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. “We are excited to use the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad as an opportunity to engage and inspire bright young scientists from across the globe to pursue careers in chemistry as a means of creating solutions to challenges that affect our planet, our communities and improve the human condition.”
The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the United States joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the ACS Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Olympiad Endowment with additional support from the Air Force Academy; Advanced Chemistry Development; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Flinn Scientific, Inc; Wiley & Sons Publishers; McGraw-Hill Companies; Merck Publishing Group; Prentice Hall Publishers; Texas Instruments, Inc.; University Science Books; and Sigma Aldrich Co
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.