Olympiad chemistry competitors
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The Iowa Section of the American Chemical Society has announced the names of four outstanding high school chemistry students nominated to continue a journey that began with a preliminary qualifying exam and could end with one or more of them competing in an international chemistry competition.
The four local nominees are among more than 1,200 students nationwide who will take a national qualifying exam April 19-23 to narrow the field to 20 finalists hoping to join the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad team that will compete in the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad July 19-30 in Washington, D.C.
The 20 finalists, in turn, will undergo intensive training June 5-20 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where the top four will be chosen to represent the United States in the International Chemistry Olympiad.
The students and their local high schools are: Boris Perkhounkov of City High School, Ben Sheff and Kasra Zarei, both of West High School, and Elizabeth Wilson of Regina High School.
The International Chemistry Olympiad involves a series of theoretical exams, laboratory exercises, and other activities aimed at identifying the best chemistry students, says Leonard MacGillivray, professor in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry and chair of the Iowa Section of the American Chemical Society.
Having participated in the event since 1984, the U.S. team won two gold and two silver medals last year when a total of 273 students represented 70 countries in Ankara, Turkey.
Founded in 1876 and chartered by Congress, the American Chemical Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of chemistry in the public interest. The Iowa section is one of 189 across the nation serving more than 160,000 members.