Univar, a world leader in the distribution of chemistry and related products and services, will serve as a sponsor of the National You Be The Chemist Challenge (YBTC) competition – a question-and-answer academic competition for students in the 5th through 8th grades, focused on chemistry and general science.
Created by the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF), the You Be The Chemist Challenge aims to engage 5th through 8th grade students in learning important chemistry concepts, scientific theories, and chemical safety awareness. The competition was created in 2004 as a means to spark student interest in the sciences and prepare students for future study and scientific careers. The competition is also an opportunity for members of the chemical industry to interact with and enhance science education opportunities for schools and organizations in their communities.
The 2014 National Challenge will take place on June 23 in Philadelphia at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The event is the culmination of smaller Local and State Challenge events held nationwide throughout the school year. In 2014, nearly 25,000 students nationwide competed for an opportunity to compete at the national level. The top 30 students, one from each participating state, as well as the District of Columbia, advance to the national competition. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Challenge program.
Univar will serve as a sponsor of the National Challenge competition, which will be followed by a celebration dinner held at The National Constitution Center. The dinner will include an award ceremony for the Challenge participants as well as live science entertainment. The event will provide participants and educators the opportunity to interact with the business leaders, chemical industry members, chemists, and educators in attendance.
"Univar has sponsored the You Be The Chemist Challenge (YBTC) competition since 2009. It's exciting to see young kids learning about chemistry and applying the concepts to everyday life," said Terry Hill, Univar executive vice president – industry relations. "Creating opportunities that engage youth in the sciences is important for society as a whole, particularly considering the many ways that chemistry improves the quality of life for us every day. Opportunities like YBTC also ensure that we have a broader pool of qualified candidates from which to choose in the future. But even more importantly, we want to invest in these students, and foster a spirit of lifelong learning at a young age."
Univar's sponsorship allows CEF to invite participants, chaperones, and educators to travel to Philadelphia for the National Challenge and to visit historic sites and museums such as The Academy of Natural Science and The Franklin Institute. Additionally, it allows participants to receive exciting prizes, including Thames & Kosmos CHEMC3000 chemistry kits, gift certificates to the Discovery Channel Store, and Challenge T-shirts, bags, and other giveaways. The top four placing participants will receive college scholarships totaling $15,000.
The 2014 National Challenge participants will represent the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. A representative from the District of Columbia will participate in the competition as well.
The National Challenge and all of its surrounding events are organized by CEF and sponsored by members of the chemical industry and educational organizations.