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Berks County students compete in chemistry competition at Penn State Berks

On March 2, 2013, approximately 150 middle school students from Berks County will show off their knowledge of chemistry concepts, important discoveries, and chemical safety awareness at the local level of a national chemistry competition. The students will compete against one another in the You Be The Chemist Challenge®–an academic question and answer competition created by the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF). The local-level portion of the Challenge, held at Penn State Berks, is hosted by the Penn State Berks Chemical Society, a student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, and is sponsored by Brenntag North America of Reading, PA.

The Challenge competition aims to engage grade 5-8 students in chemistry through a dynamic event that partners members of the chemical industry with schools and organizations in the communities in which they operate.

 “The Challenge competition exposes students to the fascinating world of chemistry as it applies to their everyday lives, allowing them to gain a greater appreciation of how chemistry and chemicals will continue to shape their world,” stated CEF’s Executive Director John Rice. “Additionally, linking industry, educators, and students together not only builds stronger community relationships but also highlights the importance of chemistry education in an informal and celebratory manner,” he added.

The winner of the Berks County local Challenge will advance to the Pennsylvania State Challenge in the spring. The winner of the state competition will move on to compete in the National Challenge held in Philadelphia, PA, on June 24 at the Kimmel Center. There they will compete with state representatives from across the country for the title of 2012-2013 National You Be The Chemist Challenge® Champion.

At the national competition, each participant will receive fun prizes, such as chemistry kits, t-shirts and gift certificates to the Discovery Channel Store. The first through fourth place winners will also receive scholarships for future educational use. And, in addition to the Challenge and prizes, participants and a chaperone will also be treated to various activities in historic Philadelphia, such as a visit to The Franklin Institute, an interactive science museum, and a dinner celebration at the National Constitution Center. For more information about the competition, please visit the CEF website at www.chemed.org.

For more information about the local challenge at Penn State Berks, contact Greglynn Gibbs, Research Support Technician at Penn State Berks and adviser for the Penn State Berks Chemical Society, at 610-396-6363 or via e-mail at GDW104@psu.edu.

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