The New Jersey Institute of Technology will host more than 250 high school students who will compete in the 2019 New Jersey Chemistry Olympics at NJIT’s Tiernan Hall and the Wellness and Event Center.
Teachers have been acting as coaches for each team, guiding their students as they worked on projects from January through April. Now they will present their work on event day on Friday, May 17, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The 34th Annual New Jersey Chemistry Olympics is a dual effort of NJIT and the North Jersey Section – American Chemical Society. The NJ-ACS has more than 6,000 members, representing diverse and dynamic scientists throughout industry, academia and government. Last year, the winners of the competition won a guided tour of a pharmaceutical plant, courtesy of former New Jersey Chemistry Olympics participant Kevin Campos, who is now assistant vice president and head of small molecule process research and development at Merck. Campos will also be the keynote speaker at this year’s event.
Over the past 34 years, the New Jersey Chemistry Olympics has been instrumental in improving the quality of chemistry education in high schools statewide. Students have opportunities to innovate and show their strengths in a supportive environment, with chemistry as a uniting thread.
This year’s theme is energy. Students will be demonstrating combustion reactions, researching what makes sunscreen work and learning about the molecular structure of sunscreen ingredients. Other topics include how much copper is in a penny and building a working fuel cell. Judges are experts from academia and industry. Each event has gold, silver and bronze medal winners, with the coveted Platinum Crucible for the best overall score.
The New Jersey Chemistry Olympics has been honored with an American Chemical Society Salute to Excellence award. Many companies have sponsored the event over the past 34 years — this year’s sponsors include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Exemplify and Merck.