North Jersey Section
American Chemical Society

ICO-2008-2009

Each year, the North Jersey Section assists the ACS in its search for the top 20 high school chemistry students in the U.S. From these, the best four are chosen to represent the U.S. in the International Chemistry Olympiad held annually in various cities in the world.

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International Chemistry Olympiad 2009

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 7.47.36 PMThe 2009 Olympiad took place in Cambridge, England.

The entire process begins with a screening test. Accordingly, up to 200 high school students from the North Jersey section are nominated by their teachers and given a 1st level screening test at FDU Florham in mid March. From these, a dozen or students are qualified to go on to the 2nd level, the Advanced Test.

Below are the nine North Jersey ACS students who competed in the Advanced Test for 2009. The picture was taken at Fairleigh Dickinson University during the five hour exam. Twenty students from the ACS sections across the country attended a two week study camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. From there, four competed in the International Chemistry Olympiad.

 Left to right back row: Mathew Akhil, Madison HS, Christopher Varnerin, Watchung RHS, Yixiao Wang, Westfield HS,. Front row: Siddarth Viswanathan, East Brunswick, David Kolchmeyer, East Brunswick HS, Ian Osborn, Bergen Academy, Ajay Roopakalu, South Brunswick HS, Utsarga Sikder, South Brunswick HS, Timothy Barnum, Watchung RHS.

Left to right back row: Mathew Akhil, Madison HS, Christopher Varnerin, Watchung RHS, Yixiao Wang, Westfield HS,. Front row: Siddarth Viswanathan, East Brunswick, David Kolchmeyer, East Brunswick HS, Ian Osborn, Bergen Academy, Ajay Roopakalu, South Brunswick HS, Utsarga Sikder, South Brunswick HS, Timothy Barnum, Watchung RHS.

Two of the North Jersey students placed in the top 20 nationally for the 2009 Chemistry Olympiad and went on to the Air Force Academy training camp in June. They are:

  • Yixiao Wang, Westfield HS (teachers: Martha Bailey & Louis Casagrande), and
  • Utsarga Sikder, So. Brunswick HS (teacher: Theresa Farinella)

This makes seven consecutive years that the North Jersey Section had placed at least one student in the top 20, and we have placed 2 in each of the last 5 years. Congratulations to students and teachers!

Gold Medalist Yixiao Wang receiving his award from Sir Harry Kroto at the 2009 International Chemistry Olympiad at Cambridge, UK. [photo: John Kotz]

Gold Medalist Yixiao Wang receiving his award from Sir Harry Kroto at the 2009 International Chemistry Olympiad at Cambridge, UK. [photo: John Kotz]

Subsequently, Yixiao Wang, who also placed in the top 20 last year, was selected as one of the four members of the U.S. Team to compete in the 2009 International Chemistry Olympiad in Cambridge, UK, in July. He won a gold medal for the U.S. at the Olympiad!

See details in the C&EN Article as well as mentor John Kotz’s blog for pictures and personal reflections.

In Oct 2009 Yixiao received a congresional citation for his achievement.

International Chemistry Olympiad 2008

NJ-ACS 2008 Chemistry Olympiad Finalists

NJ-ACS 2008 Chemistry Olympiad Finalists

Each year, the North Jersey section assists the ACS in search for the top 20 high school chemistry students in the U.S. From these, the best four are chosen to represent the U.S. in the International Chemistry Olympiad, held in Budapest, Hungary, on July 12-21, 2008.

The entire process begins with a screening test. Accordingly, 171 high school students from the North Jersey section were nominated by their teachers, and given a 1st level screening test at FDU–Florham on March 19, 2008. From these, 15 students were qualified to go on to the 2nd level. The students, teachers and high schools in the latter group are listed below:

After a grueling 6½ half hour 2nd level test on April 19, which included 2 written and one laboratory test, two students were qualified to attend the study camp in June at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The students are Yuxin Xie and Yixiao Wang.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the North Jersey Section placed two students in the study camp.

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