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Minh Phan from Liberty Middle School qualified for the 2017 National “You Be the Chemist Challenge” in Washington D.C. CONTRIBUTED

Phan qualifies for national challenge in chemistry

MADISON – Minh Phan, a seventh-grader at Liberty Middle School, excelled in local and state contests to reach the 2017 “National You Be the Chemist Challenge” in Washington D.C.

Phan and 41 other finalists qualified from 55,000 middle school students across 40 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the challenge program conducted throughout the 2016-2017 school year. These students will compete for more than $20,000 in educational scholarship funds and various prizes.

Challenge participants and educators gathered at Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. on June 19 for the national competition.  

Chemical Educational Foundation sponsors the challenge. The foundation is a national non-profit organization that inspires young learners to pursue science-related education and careers.

An academic competition, the challenge engages students in grades 5-8 to learn about the importance of chemistry to everyday life. Preliminary competitions encourage collaboration among industry, schools, educators and community partners to support early education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics study.

“As we look to the future of our economy and workforce, STEM education — and specifically chemistry — is a critical part of driving innovation, developing new technologies and discovering unimaginable possibilities in science,” foundation executive director Dwayne Sattler said.

“These 42 students are evidence of what young people can achieve when they are inspired by chemistry. They are our future leaders and innovators,” Sattler said.

Bolstering chemistry education is critical to reducing the “STEM gap,” a sizeable gap between the number of skilled workers and available STEM jobs, Sattler said. By 2018, studies show that 1.2 million STEM jobs will go unfilled.

For more information, visit chemed.org.

 

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