Eighth Grader Wins National You Be The Chemist Challenge

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jul 03, 2019

The Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) hosted its 15th annual National You Be The Chemist Challenge on Monday 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, an eighth-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.

"It's incredibly exciting to watch these kids compete onstage. They have worked so hard to make it here, and seeing them experience the intensity and thrill of the National Challenge in real time is fun for everyone involved," says CEF Executive Director Dwayne Sattler. "One of the most unique things about this event is that it brings together so many of the people rooting for these participants in one place – parents, teachers, volunteers, and industry sponsors and supporters who know that these kids are the future of their workplaces."

The top 4 winners received scholarship checks to be used for higher education later in their academic careers:

1st Place: Anurag Sodhi, 8th grade, Ellicott City, MD - $12,000 scholarship

2nd Place: Yuvan Chali, 8th grade, Franterac, MO - $6,000 scholarship

3rd Place: Jiarui Peng, 7th grade, Niantic, CT - $3,000 scholarship

4th Place: Daniel Kaganovich, 8th grade, San Jose, CA - $1,500 scholarship

CEF's You Be The Chemist programs are designed to inspire students, engage educators, and strengthen communities to build a better world through the science of chemistry. Last year, You Be The Chemist reached more than 650,000 students across the country.

For more information, visit: www.chemed.org