North Jersey Section
American Chemical Society

41st International Chemistry Olympiad 2009

IChO 2009 in Cambridge, UKThe 2009 Olympiad took place in Cambridge, England.

The entire process began with a screening test. Accordingly, around 200 high school students from the North Jersey section were nominated by their teachers and given a 1st level screening test at FDU Florham in mid March.

 From these, a dozen or students were 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 the previous 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!

Gold Medalist Yixiao Wang and Congressman Leonard Lance

Gold Medalist Yixiao Wang at his high school in Westfield, NJ, receiving a citation from Congressman Leonard Lance which was also entered into the Congressional Record

(Details had been in the C&EN Article as well as mentor John Kotz’s blog which had pictures and personal reflections but both links now broken. Sorry.)

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