On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, great young minds in chemistry gathered in Charleston for the Kanawha Valley Section of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) annual awards banquet.
The event recognized first and second-year high school chemistry students for their achievements in the 2014 ACS High School Chemistry Olympiad.
“We’ve got students who have excelled both in team and individual competitions. We’re here to recognize their outstanding achievements in chemistry and have some fun along the way,” said David Haas, Chemistry professor at the University of Charleston and President of the Kanawha Valley ACS section.
The ACS Chemistry Olympiad encourages achievement in high school chemistry. Students begin the Olympiad by taking an initial achievement (first-year students) or local (second-year students) exam. High-scoring students can then move on to the National exam and, if he or she does well, they may be one of the top four students in the nation that will represent the United States in the International Chemistry Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam this July.
Olympiad participants took initial exams at WVU Tech, West Virginia State University and the University of Charleston in March. Four top-scoring students from Oak Hill, George Washington and Riverside high schools visited WVU Tech in late April to take the national exam, administered by Dr. Rana Jisr, WVU Tech professor and local Olympiad coordinator.
At Tuesday’s event, top finishers in the local and achievement exams were awarded WVU Tech scholarships. George Washington High School student, Jay Sheth, received the first-place scholarship award. Jacob Pino of Oak Hill High School and Capitol High School’s Issac Liu took home second and third scholarship awards, respectively.
“Congratulations to all of the awardees and to all of the wonderful teachers whose results are these intelligent students,” said Dr. Z. Torbica, Dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences at WVU Tech. “And, of course, congratulations to the parents for supporting these students and helping them to succeed.”
In addition to dinner and the awards ceremony, attendees participated in an interactive chemistry presentation from Dr. Hasan El-Rifai, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences at WVU Tech.
[Photo: Students (from left to right) Logan Flint, Chris Kelly, Dhruva Gupta and Arka Gupta visit WVU Tech to take the ACS Chemistry Olympiad National exam on April 25, 2014.]