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. The 2009 Olympiad will take place in Cambridge, UK.

The entire process begins with a screening test. Accordingly, up to 200 high school students from the NoJ 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.

At right 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 will attend a two week study camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. From there, four will attend the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Two of these students placed in the top 20 nationally for the 2009 Chemistry Olympiad and will go on to the Air Force Academy training camp this summer. They are:

Yixiao Wang, Westfield HS
(teachers: Martha Bailey & Louis Casagrande)


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. We placed 2 in each of the last 5 years. Congratulations to students and teachers!

In addition, 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. Yixiao went on to win a Gold Medal at the Olympiad. In Oct 2009 Yixiao received a congressional citation for his achievement.

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.